Supporters of Greece's bailout terms have taken a wafer-thin lead over the ''No'' vote backed by the leftist government, 48 hours before a referendum that may determine the country's future in the euro zone. As Ciara Lee reports European bonds and stocks traded cautiously at Friday's market opening as a result.
It's on a knife edge and an opinion poll has revealed by just how much. Supporters of Greece's bailout terms have taken a wafer-thin lead over the "No" vote, backed by the leftist government. The poll put the "Yes" camp at 44.8 percent against 43.4 percent for the No" vote. It comes just 48 hours before a referendum that may decide the country's future in the euro zone. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) BY-PASSER, SAYING: "I personally wish for "yes" to win for the sake of Greece, not for those brutes." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) BY-PASSER, SAYING: "It will not be such a close call. I estimate "no" with over 65-70 percent. Pensioners queued outside banks on the fifth day of capital controls imposed to stop the banks from collapsing. But cash is still running out fast. Barclays' Will Hobbs says the outlook remains bleak which ever way the vote goes. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILL HOBBS, BARCLAYS WEALTH, SAYING: "Greece is still going to be better off within the euro than outside. We don't see Greece benefitting from a devalued currency necessarily. The institutional problems that Greece suffers from are at the heart of its lack of competitiveness, not necessarily the currency in our opinion. Unfortunately for the Greek people, the prospects are really difficult in what is a humanitarian crisis which looks set to get worse." Markets this week have reacted relatively calmly to the latest twists and turns in the crisis. But as the referendum loomed, anxiety began to creep in. The Euro STOXX 50 was heading for its biggest weekly fall this year. The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 3 percent on the week - it's worst weekly fall since late April. And the euro edged down. Those hoping for Greece to stay in the euro somehow may take comfort from one other statistic in the new survey. 74 percent of Greeks want to stay in the single currency, with 15 percent in favour of a return to the drachma - the rest are undecided.