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Opinion
The Editors

As Goes Greece, So Goes the Euro

Any country exiting the euro would throw the common currency's continued existence into doubt.
If Europe lets Greece go, these could become collectors' items.

If Europe lets Greece go, these could become collectors' items.

Photographer: Petras Malukas/AFP/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to view Greece's exiting the euro as a manageable risk that would pose no existential crisis for the common currency. That opinion, if she indeed holds it, is misguided at best and dangerous at worst.

It's true that Greece poses a less naked financial risk to the rest of the euro region than it did in 2009, when revelations about the true size of its deficit triggered the ongoing crisis. Today, only about a fifth of Greek government debts are owed to the private sector, thanks to the country's bailout by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. And borrowing by Greek private companies accounts for less than 1 percent of loans made by Europe's biggest banks, according to JPMorgan.