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Greece 'certain' to stay in Euro region this year, odds signal

[DUBLIN] Worried about a Greek exit from the euro region ruining your summer vacation plans? Fret no more, it isn't going to happen.

At least that's what bookmakers say. Betfair Group Plc puts the odds of Greece not leaving the eurozone this year at 1/5, meaning a successful 5 pound bet wins 1 pound. William Hill Plc is offering 1/4 Greece will stay in the euro area in 2015.

"We've seen optimism come and go but at this stage, it's looking like a certainty that they will stay, at least for this year," said Graham Sharpe, a spokesman for William Hill.

Betting markets can provide clues to the direction of events. So certain was Betfair of the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum last year, it paid out on a "no" vote two days before the ballot even after polls suggesting a tight contest had sent the pound tumbling.

Still, euro-area finance ministers gathering in Brussels on Monday tempered optimism that a deal on Greece was in the offing, and the long-term outlook for the country may be grim, odds signal.

Paddy Power Plc, Ireland's largest bookmaker, puts the odds of Greece adopting an official currency other than the euro by the end of 2017 at 4/6, meaning a 6 euro bet wins 4.