The next act: What happens now in Greece's drama?

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Opinion Journal: What's Next for Greece?


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Greece has entered the twilight zone.

Out of money, cut off by its creditors, its banks shut, the struggling country will vote Sunday on whether to accept painful cutbacks in return for desperately needed financing.

Between now and then Greece remains suspended between collapse and an uncertain rescue, between membership in the 19-member euro club and the possibility of a humiliating exit.

A look at what's ahead:

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Q: What is the next deadline for Greece?

A: On Tuesday, the main part of Greece's bailout deal expires. With no agreement to release the last 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion) from that deal, Greece is on its own.

An EU official said that after the deal expires, it would take weeks for creditors - other eurozone states and the International Monetary Fund - to put a new agreement on track.

Tuesday is also the day Greece has to pay a debt of about 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) to the IMF. If Greece doesn't pay, it will take a while for the IMF to actually declare Greece in default. Credit ratings agencies say arrears to the IMF will not immediately trigger a default crediting rating for Greece.

But the IMF won't give Greece more money unless the arrears are taken care of. That puts Greece in the same bin with fragile, war-torn developing countries in Africa and Latin America.

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Q: And after Tuesday?

A: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called a referendum for Sunday. Greeks will be asked to vote if they support a bailout deal that creditors have proposed that involves budget cutbacks and tax increases in exchange for the remaining loans in the country's rescue program.

Tsipras is urging people to vote "no."

Protesters take to the streets to demonstrate for a 'no' vote:

32 PHOTOS
Greece crisis protesters, demonstrators
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The next act: What happens now in Greece's drama?
People gather in front of the White Tower, a city's landmark, in Thessaloniki on July 5, 2015, after early results showed those who rejected further austerity measures in a crucial bailout referendum were poised to win. Over 61 percent of Greek voters on July 5 rejected fresh austerity demands by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a historic referendum, official results from 50 percent of polling stations showed. AFP PHOTO /Sakis MitrolidisAFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
People celebrate in Athens on July 5, 2015 after the first exit-polls of the Greek referendum. Over 60 percent of Greeks rejected further austerity dictated by the country's EU-IMF creditors in a referendum, results from 20 percent of polling stations showed. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters chant slogans in front of the Greek parliament in central Athens, on June 29, 2015. Some 17,000 people took to the streets of Athens and Thessalonique to say 'No' to the latest offer of a bailout deal, accusing Greece's international creditors of blackmail. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Carrying banners calling for a 'NO' vote in the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, protesters gather in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, on June 29, 2015. Some 17,000 people took to the streets of Athens and Thessalonique to say 'No' to the latest offer of a bailout deal Monday, accusing Greece's international creditors of blackmail. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
An anti-EU protester burns an EU flag in front of the European Comission offices in Athens on July 2, 2015, during a demonstration supporting the no vote for the upcoming referendum. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / Louisa Gouliamaki (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Riot police march alongside anti-EU protesters in front of the European commision offices in Athens on July 2, 2015, during a demonstration supporting the no vote for the upcoming referendum. Greece's government and international creditors raised the stakes on July 2 over a weekend referendum seen as decisive for the nearly insolvent EU country's political and financial future. While Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged Greeks to vote 'No' to the austerity measures demanded by international creditors, opposition parties including the centre-right New Democracy are campaigning for a 'Yes' vote in the referendum on July 5. AFP PHOTO / Louisa Gouliamaki (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
People sing the greek national anthem under a giant greek flag, during a pro-European demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 22, 2015. Greece's international lenders raised hopes for a vital bailout agreement this week to save Athens from default and a possible euro exit, despite warning no deal was likely at an emergency summit. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester bears on her wrist the ''NO'' slogan in reference to the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, during a demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATMs. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 22: A man waves a EU flag as pro-Euro protesters take part in a rally in front of the Parliament on June 22. 2015 in Athens, Greece. Thousends of people attended the rally in support of Greece remaining in the European Union. The Eurozone's 19 national leaders held an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the crisis and welcomed new proposals from the Greek government after talks today to haul Athens back from the brink of bankruptcy. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters participate a demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATMs. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters demonstrate during a pro-European demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 22, 2015. Greece's international lenders raised hopes for a vital bailout agreement this week to save Athens from default and a possible euro exit, despite warning no deal was likely at an emergency summit on Monday. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters demonstrate during a pro-European demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 22, 2015. Greece's international lenders raised hopes for a vital bailout agreement this week to save Athens from default and a possible euro exit, despite warning no deal was likely at an emergency summit on Monday. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Leftist youth hold a placard reading 'No more recession, out of the eurozone' during a demonstration in Athens calling for Greece's exit from the eurozone on June 28, 2015. Greece weighed drastic banking restrictions to stave off a financial collapse as anxious Greeks emptied cash machines amid fears that banks will be closed this week. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Foreign anti-EU activists protest in front of the Greek parliament in Athens, during a demonstration calling for 'NO' at referendum and for Greece's exit from the eurozone on June 28, 2015. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stunned Europe late Friday with a surprise call for a July 5 referendum on the latest cash-for-reforms package and advised voters against backing a deal that he said spelled further 'humiliation'..AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 22: Pro-Euro protesters take part in a rally in front of the Parliament on June 22. 2015 in Athens, Greece. Thousends of people attended the rally in support of Greece remaining in the European Union. The Eurozone's 19 national leaders held an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the crisis and welcomed new proposals from the Greek government after talks today to haul Athens back from the brink of bankruptcy. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters walk over stickers reading 'Better drachma than submission' during a demonstration calling for an exit from the eurozone and a 'No' vote in the upcoming referendum in Athens on June 28, 2015. Greece weighed drastic banking restrictions to stave off a financial collapse as anxious Greeks emptied cash machines amid fears that banks will be closed this week. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 18: Pro-European Union protesters take part in a rally in front of the parliament on June 18, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Thousends people attended the rally in support of Greece remaining in the EU. About three-quarters of Greeks support keeping the EU's common currency, according to recent polls. Greece and creditors failed to reach an agreement Thursday in troubled bailout talks, with a June 30 deadline looming. .(Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Protesters participate in a demonstration calling for a 'No' vote in the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATM's. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman is seen through a banner during a demonstration to protest against EU austerity policies and in support of the Greek government in Thessaloniki on 17 June, 2015. All eyes are on a meeting of the 19 eurozone countries to take place on June 18 in Luxembourg, but several officials including Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said they were not expecting a breakthrough there either. AFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A man holds a placard with a Greek flag during a demonstartion to protest against EU austerity policies and in order to support the Greek government in Thessaloniki on 17 June, 2015. All eyes are on a meeting of the 19 eurozone countries to take place on June 18 in Luxembourg, but several officials including Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said they were not expecting a breakthrough there either. AFP PHOTO /Sakis Mitrolidis (Photo credit should read SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Communist-affiliated protesters throw leaflets from atop the occupied Finance Ministry in central Athens during their rally against EU-IMF loan deal on June 11, 2015. The Greek government said it would 'intensify' efforts to resolve differences with its EU-IMF creditors to reach a deal that would give the country desperately needed bailout funds. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 29: Demonstrators during a rally in Athens, Greece, 29 June 2015. Greek voters will decide in a referendum next Sunday on whether their government should accept an economic reform package put forth by Greece's creditor. Greece has imposed capital controls with the banks being closed untill the referendum. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
A man holds a placard reading 'FMI+Troika=Criminals' as he protests in front of the European Commission headquarters in Barcelona during a demonstration in support of Greece, on June 29, 2015. Greece blindsided creditors on June 27, 2015 by calling a referendum for July 5 on the latest bailout proposal being offered to Greece, a move interpreted by its creditors as Athens' desire to break off negotiations. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester holds a Greek flag the ''NO'' slogan in reference to the forthcoming referendum on bailout conditions set by the country's creditors, during a demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATMs. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 22: Riot police stand with shields as pro-Euro protesters take part in a rally in front of the Parliament on June 22. 2015 in Athens, Greece. Thousends of people attended the rally in support of Greece remaining in the European Union. The Eurozone's 19 national leaders held an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the crisis and welcomed new proposals from the Greek government after talks today to haul Athens back from the brink of bankruptcy. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
A protester burns a five-euro banknote during a demonstration calling for an exit from the eurozone and a 'No' in the upcoming referendum in Athens on June 28, 2015. Greece weighed drastic banking restrictions to stave off a financial collapse as anxious Greeks emptied cash machines amid fears that banks will be closed this week. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters take part in a demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens on June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and the stock market and imposed capital controls after creditors at the weekend refused to extend the country's bailout past the June 30 deadline, prompting anxious citizens to empty ATMs. AFP PHOTO / Angelos Tzortzinis (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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The catch, however, is that by the time of the vote, Greece's bailout program would have run out. So the Greeks would be voting on an offer that has technically expired.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU Commission, has urged Greeks to vote "yes" to a deal, no matter how it is worded.

A "no" vote could mean euro exit is closer for Greece, as the country would have no outside financial aid.

Some think a "yes" could restart talks. Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank, says that "should the electorate vote in favor of a compromise, the eurozone members will not be able to ignore that and will resume negotiations."

A "yes" vote, however, could lead to the collapse of the Greek government, as it is unclear it would be able or willing to implement a deal with creditors that it had so vehemently resisted.

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Q: Is a deal to save Greece still possible?

A: Technically, yes. EU economic official Pierre Moscovici said Monday that a deal was "a few centimeters" away.

EU officials and creditors indicate they are still willing to strike a deal. Tsipras, however, has dismissed all their proposals so far as insufficient.

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Q: Will Greece leave the eurozone?

A: Many see Greece's decision to close the banks as a step closer to leaving the euro.

The banks' trouble is a bad sign, because the Greek government would need billions of euros if it has to rescue them without outside support. Until Sunday, the ECB had been keeping the banks afloat by increasing emergency credit as deposits fled.

A modern economy needs functioning banks. For Greece that would mean printing a new currency and using it to refloat the banking system.

Greece is also having serious trouble paying its day-to-day bills for salaries and pension.

Greeks line up outside shuttered banks and ATMs in reaction to capital controls:

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Greeks line up outside banks, ATMs
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The next act: What happens now in Greece's drama?
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 28: Greeks queue in front of the National Bank to use ATM to withdraw cash on June 28, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Greece is anxiously awaiting a decision by the European Central Bank on whether to increase the emergency liquidity assistance banks can draw on from the country's central bank. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
People queue at the ATM machines of the Piraeus bank in central Athens, after the opening of the transactions on June 29, 2015. Greece ordered its banks to shut for one week and imposed capital controls today, sending markets tumbling after its citizens emptied ATMs on the eve of a potentially disastrous default. In a ray of hope, creditors left the door open to Greece for a last-ditch debt deal, in order to try and avert a dangerous default that could spark a Greek eurozone exit and raise serious questions about the future of the European Union. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Customers queue to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATM) outside a main branch of the National Bank of Greece SA in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kontantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customers queue to withdraw cash from automated teller machines (ATM) outside a main branch of the National Bank of Greece SA in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kontantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pensioners sit and wait on the steps outside a closed main branch of the National Bank of Greece SA in the hope that it might open in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kontantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer places her daily cash machine withdrawal limit of 60 euros into her purse after using an automated teller machines (ATM) outside a closed Eurobank Ergasias SA bank branch in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pensioners wait at the entrance doors outside a closed main branch of the National Bank of Greece SA in the hope that it might open in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kontantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A woman exits a supermarket with a cart full of items in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A man exits a supermarket with a cart full of items in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customers shop for food products at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer inspects chilled food products in a shopping aisle at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee restocks shelves with bottles of sunflower oil at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Customer carry groceries in shopping bags as they exit after shopping at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A customer selects food products from a shelf at a local supermarket in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee walks across an empty forecourt of a gas station which has run out of unleaded petrol and has only diesel for sale in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Passengers exit a public tram in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A pedestrian stops to inspect the front pages of daily newspapers sitting on board beside a magazine vendor in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Front pages showing stories about the Greek debt crisis and photographs of Alexis Tsipras, Greece's prime minister, hang from a magazine kiosk in Athens, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Greek pensioners wait to collect their pension payments from a National Bank of Greece SA bank branch before opening in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Greek pensioners wait to collect their pension payments from a National Bank of Greece SA bank branch before opening in Thessaloniki, Greece, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Greece shut its banks and imposed capital controls in an announcement designed to avert the collapse of its financial system, heightening the risk it will be forced out of the euro. Photographer: Konstantinos Tsakalidis/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 27: Greeks queue in front of the National Bank to use ATM to withdraw cash as Parliament holds an emergency session for the government's proposed referendum June 27, 2015 in Athens, Greece. Greece's fraught bailout talks with its creditors took a dramatic turn early Saturday, with the radical left government announcing a referendum in just over a week on the latest proposed deal . (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
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If it starts issuing scrip - official IOUs for payment later - that could be the first step in introducing a new currency.

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Q: If Greece leaves the euro, will the shared currency fall apart?

A: Many economists say no.

Since its troubles over high government debt started in 2009 - in Greece - the eurozone has built anti-crisis measures. Those include a pot of money to rescue troubled governments and an offer by the ECB to buy the bonds of governments facing market pressure. The ECB's current 1.1 trillion euro bond-buying monetary stimulus program has further insulated markets from panic. The ECB says it will take additional steps if necessary to keep Greece's troubles from spreading.

In the longer term, however, some experts think a Greek departure sets a bad precedent. Investors might think other countries could leave, and would require higher interest to lend those countries money. That would hurt the countries financially, in the longer term, and market pressure could conceivable force them out too if they run into trouble.

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Q: Will a Greek exit from the euro hurt my investments, as the Lehman Brothers collapse did in 2008?

A: Stock were down globally on Monday, though there was no outright panic.

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Financial impact of Greece crisis - global markets
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The next act: What happens now in Greece's drama?
A pedestrian walks past an electronic stock board displaying the figure of the Nikkei 225 Stock Average, top right, outside a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, June 29, 2015. Japanese stocks fell and the yen strengthened as Greece moved to avert the collapse of its financial system after aid talks with creditors fell apart, raising the risk it could be forced to exit the euro zone. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says no one really knows what the fallout would be from Greek exit. Which is why he thinks it should be avoided.

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Demetrios Efstathiou, economist with ICBC Standard Bank, says it would not be comparable to 2008.

"The collapse of Lehman Brothers came as a shock to the markets," Efstathiou said. "In contrast, Greece's dire financial position has been discussed to exhaustion, for many years now, and its bonds have been trading at distressed levels for many months."

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