And now are looking at the possibility of exit. In the last months, when I have been asked whether Euro exit was a possibility I have always said that it would be economic suicide for any country to leave the Euro area. But economic and political incentives are not always aligned and I have also argued that I could imagine a country leaving the Euro area if the political dynamics of the country produce a potential referendum where the question of Euro membership is simply read as "us versus them". In that environment you could imagine a country leaving the Euro area simply because its citizens have lost faith in the European project and the other countries are seen as enemies not allies. This has happened in recent times in Europe, where a referendum (about the Maastricht Treaty or the European constitution) was turned down in several countries and the only thing the European politicians could do is to repeat the referendum over and over again until it was approved.
Today the Greek government has surprised other Euro members and financial markets announcing a referendum on the last Euro bailout plan. This can be the end of the Euro, at least in some countries. Given the difficult economic situation in Greece and Europe, a "No" vote is not just possible but very likely. And while the vote will be just on the details of the plan, it will be seen as a referendum on the Euro. And this time there will be no second chance to repeat the vote if we do not like the outcome. And my fear is that just the announcement of a vote and the anticipation of that scenario might lead to a crisis months before the referendum takes place.