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Majority of Germans Still Think Greece Should Exit Euro

The debate about a Greek euro exit continues to make headlines in Germany.

Reichstag Parliment building, Berlin, Germany
Martin Child | Photodisc | Getty Images
Reichstag Parliment building, Berlin, Germany

On Monday, a poll released by the Financial Times newspapershowed that only a quarter of Germans think Greece should stay in the euro zone or get more money from other European countries.

Nearly half of Germans polled did not believe that Greece would ever be able to reform its economy sufficiently to free itself from international support.

In Italy and Spain, respondents were far more reluctant to cut Greece loose, according to the poll.

Analysts here continue to argue over the economic effects that a Greek exit could have for Germany.

A report from the United Nation’s International Labor Organization in Geneva predicted that unemployment (learn more) could rise significantly in Germany — from 6.8 percent to 9 percent — should Greece have to exit the euro zone.

“Even if Greece does not exit the euro zone, we believe that the German economy is starting to feel the effects of the euro crisis and forecast that the German unemployment rate is likely to increase to 8 percent by 2015,” Ekkehard Ernst, head of the Employment Trends Unit at the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO) told NBC News.

ILO bases its findings on current baseline data from the International Monetary Fund (learn more) and a recent market study by ING bank, officials at the Employment Trends Unit said.

"The ILO study forecasts significant economic shock waves in case of a Greek exit, which most likely would negatively affect the German economy and lead to higher unemployment," said Enzo Weber, head of Forecast and Analysis Division at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) — which also advises the German Labor Office.

"Though, the knock-on effect for countries like Italy and Spain would be decisive and I do not necessarily see a signaling effect for other battered countries, if Greece exits," Weber told NBC News. “Nonetheless, everything should be done to prevent such a scenario.”

For weeks, some senior German officials in Merkel’s coalition government have openly suggested that a Greek exit from the common currency union would be easily manageable, but questions about the immediate real economic consequences remain.

While German chancellor Angela Merkel warned last week to tone down the rhetoric over the Greek crisis, saying that she wants to assess the upcoming troika report before making any further assessments, The New York Times reported over the weekend that large U.S. banks and consulting firms are beginning to advise their clients on how to prepare for a break-up of the euro zone.

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