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How Greece could destabilize the French election

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras looks on during a parliamentary session before a budget vote in Athens, Greece, December 10, 2016.
Alkis Konstantinidis | Reuters
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras looks on during a parliamentary session before a budget vote in Athens, Greece, December 10, 2016.

The latest round of Greek debt negotiations could have repercussions beyond the country's borders and impact politics across the European continent, one finance expert has suggested.

Tim Edwards, a senior director of index investment strategy for S&P Dow Jones Indices, told CNBC on Monday that there are "continual crunch points" in negotiations between the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the sustainability of Greek debt.

Edwards suggested that, "most importantly, if the IMF withdraws will the European sovereign nations be required to themselves fill the gap and give more money to Greece?"

Parties involved in bailing out Greece cannot reach agreement on "how strict, how loose they should be ... and whether or not there should be an aspect of debt relief," according to Edwards.

"That might happen in an environment where there are national elections in many European countries," he added. Nearest on the horizon is the French presidential election in April, in which far right, anti-European Union candidate Marine Le Pen is currently leading the polls.

By way of emphasising the significance of negotiations concerning Greek debt, Edwards said that "(in) the last year or so, we really have moved to a market environment where macro trends (and) politics are fundamental."

"Political trends are very much focused on France at the moment," Edwards added. "The potential for a surprise result is not zero, and so I think people will be focusing on it."

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