Bloomberg News Poll: Greece Default With Ireland Breaks Euro By 2016 in Global Poll

Most global investors predict at least one nation will leave the euro-area within five years and that Greece and Ireland will default, sentiment that is intensifying pressure on policy makers to strengthen their response to the debt crisis.

As the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting gets underway, 59 percent of respondents in a Bloomberg Global Poll said one or more of the 17 euro nations will quit by 2016, including 11 percent who see an exit within 12 months. Respondents were divided (47% vs. 48%) over whether Portugal would default, while a majority (66%) expressed confidence in Spain.

Such pessimism underscores the urgency German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy face in their hunt for new ways to placate investors after almost $1 trillion in emergency financial support failed to calm markets. Europe’s plight ranks high on the agenda for the conference in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, where Merkel, Sarkozy and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet are among the 2,500 officials, bankers and economists attending.

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