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Posted August 12th, 2015 by Charles Purdy

Can the Eurozone recover from the Greece crisis?

After what seemed like years, the Greek government finally came to an agreement with its creditors in July. It certainly appears that the negotiations on this have reached a final agreement, and even as we wait for political approval this dramatically reduces the risk of a result that many people had seen as a foregone conclusion – a Greek exit from the Eurozone.

The main question now is: what happens next?

Not only does Greece have further repayment deadlines coming up over the next few months (with the next one due on 20th August), but the Greek population have been very vocal about their belief that the government is going back on the pledges they made before they were elected in January. What’s more, other countries that benefitted from bailouts during the global financial crisis, Spain and Portugal, will also each be holding a General Election this year – and recent events in these countries suggest that their population will follow Greece’s lead and vote for an anti-austerity party.

However, in July, as the fallout of the Greek debt crisis began to die down, it emerged that Spain had the best performing economy of the Eurozone’s Big Four (which also includes France, Italy and Germany). Portugal is also seen as a recovering and strengthened market – certainly more so than Greece – making the same public unrest unlikely.

Since the negotiations over Greece’s payments came to an end, the euro has strengthened, indicating that investors are positive about the single currency’s future. On 20th July, as the bailout looked likely to be confirmed, GBP/EUR began the week at 1.4367 – the strongest rate for sterling for eight years; this rate began this week at 1.4126 on Monday 10th August. This means that those purchasing a property anywhere in Europe for €300,000 would end up paying £212,374 this week, over £3500 more than they would have paid on 20th July (£208,812).

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