It could be 2012 all over again. As Greece heads to the polls in a snap general election that will determine its future in the euro zone, governments across the region appear to be piling on the pressure and stepping up the rhetoric. Markets are already feeling the tension with Greek stocks down almost 4 percent on Monday.
Over the weekend, a report in German magazine Der Spiegel said that Chancellor Angela Merkel's government was prepared for a Greek exit from the euro zone -- known as a "Grexit" -- if Greek voters elected a government on January 25 that chose to scrap the terms of the country's massive bailout program.
The report comes amid expectations that Greek voters could elect the anti-austerity party Syriza, currently marginally ahead in opinion polls, in the crucial vote later this month. The cutbacks, tax increases and reforms Syriza is fighting were imposed in return for two bailouts totalling some 240 billion euros ($290 billion). The measures have crippled the Greek economy: it has only just come out of a six-year recession and unemployment is stuck at around 25 percent.