Politics Betting: Greece overwhelmingly rejects EU deal, but will they exit the Eurozone?

Oxi supporters celebrate outside the Greek parliament
Oxi supporters celebrate outside the Greek parliament

After an historic day that saw the Greek people reject what was billed as a final bailout offer from the EU, Paul Krishnamurty looks at the implications and our market on whether Greece will stay in the Euro until the end of 2015...

"Since its inception, the EU has made an art of compromise rather than conflict. It is perfectly capable of doing so again, once it realises the scale of risk involved in breaking up."

The European Union faces an unprecedented crisis this morning, after Greece rejected their latest bailout proposal by a landslide 60% to 40% margin. The early money in Betfair's market on the referendum was for Yes, which traded down to 1.42/5 or a peak rating of 70%.

However, as the weekend drew on, money poured in for No as the picture on the ground became clear. By the time polls closed, No was rated in excess of 80% likely.

The result leaves Greece, the EU and the world economy in a perilous, uncertain situation. Stock markets are widely predicted to tumble when they open in fear of a Greek default, contagion spreading across the Eurozone and potentially a financial crisis worse than 2008, were the Euro were to unravel.

Many sensible commentators believe the latter doomsday scenario will occur and sizeable Eurosceptic movements across the continent will certainly be buoyed by the result.

Right now, however, the market disagrees. The odds on Betfair's Grexit 2015 market moved substantially yesterday, with No (to leaving the Euro) drifting from 1.11/10 to the current 1.68/13. In other words, Greece are still rated 62% likely to remain in the Euro until the end of this year.

The logic behind this position is that by winning the referendum comprehensively, the Greek government has earned the right to negotiate a comprehensive new deal that both sides urgently need. The EU may fear the anti-austerity agenda of Syriza in Greece and fellow left-wingers Podemos in Spain, but they cannot ignore their democratic legitimacy or afford the Eurozone to self-destruct.

Since its inception, the EU has made an art of compromise rather than conflict. It is perfectly capable of doing so again, once it realises the scale of risk involved in breaking up. It is worth noting that even the IMF - a member of the Troika that has imposed austerity in Greece - acknowledged the need for a new, much less harsh approach last week.

This optimistic scenario is my personal view, but it is worth adding the proviso that absolutely nobody can confidently predict events over the next few days. To reiterate the point made last week, it is well worth trading the spikes in this market, when the odds move sharply in response to dramatic events or official announcements.

Yesterday's referendum result was precisely such a spike and, after such a huge swing, it will be interesting to see whether Yes maintains momentum in the Grexit market this week. Alternatively, 1.68/13 could look very big in a couple of days if a new deal swiftly appears on the table. Watch the news constantly, and watch the markets!


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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.

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