A make or break meeting on Saturday could determine whether or not Greece defaults on its debts. How damaging has Greece's debt crisis been for the euro and the idea of irreversible euro membership? Kirsty Basset reports.
Greeks protesting outside parliament, calling on their government to keep their country in the euro zone. The Greek government says it wants to stay in too. But with Greece due to pay the IMF 1.6 billion euros on Tuesday, time is running out. If a deal isn't drawn up on Saturday, the stage could be set for a Greek default - which could push the country closer to an exit from the euro zone. What would that look like? Reuters correspondent Jamie McGeever. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT JAMIE MCGEEVER SAYING: "There would be a huge collapse in the value of the currency. The price of imported goods, fuel, medicine, would go through the roof. Inflation would rise. There'd be all sorts of volatility and uncertainty." Some argue it would in the long term give Greece a competitive boost. Either way, the possibility of an exit - by accident or design, is undermining the concept of euro zone membership as irreversible. Jeremy Stretch is from CIBC. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) EUROPEAN HEAD OF STRATEGY AT CIBC, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "If we were to see one member leave, that irrevocability would be compromised and that would be an obvious counterweight to the European project." And it's a precedent Brussels wouldn't want to see set. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT JAMIE MCGEEVER SAYING: "Well if one country was to leave what's to stop another from leaving whether it be a year, or five or ten years time? Once that genie is out of the bottle so to speak there's no putting it back in." So is Greece responsible for its problems, or is it the system that needs fixing? IG's Chris Beauchamp says the crisis has shone a light on some of the euro zone's underlying cracks. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "I think it just shows up what we'd already suspected about the euro. That while it had a pretense of being a union of pushing together with the same aims and monetary policy it does sort of paper over the cracks. People started to believe in the mid-2000s that you could treat all the government bonds in the euro zone the same as a German bond but of course that's proven to be manifestly untrue." Will the crisis break the euro zone - or make it stronger? (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) EUROPEAN HEAD OF STRATEGY AT CIBC, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "It may well be the legacy of this ongoing crisis that we do see the necessary political integration or fiscal consolidation which is necessary to be a successful monetary union over time." And despite the euro's recent resilience, many investors see almost every outcome of Greece's stand-off with its creditors leading to a weaker euro.