The debt-ridden EU state faces a critical few weeks as pressures rise from the US and Germany for it to meet the conditions agreed in Greece’s bailout package almost seven years ago.
Negotiations between Athens and its creditors have come to a standstill, with bond yields skyrocketing.
The yield on two-year Greek government bonds has risen from six per cent to 10 per cent in less than two weeks – and nervous investors have started selling up in anticipation of another disaster.
The country’s beleaguered prime minister, Alex Tsipras, of the left-wing Syriza party, was expected to raise the concerns with German chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders in Malta on Friday.
And analysts have already begun to sound alarms of impending doom.
Pantelis Kapsis, a prominent Greek political commentator, told the Guardian: “I am very worried we are heading towards a rupture with the EU.
“There are lots of signs that at the back of their minds people in Syriza are entertaining various ideas of going it alone.”
Mr Kapsis added: “What is sure is that we are entering a very difficult period which quite possible could lead us to a point of no return.”
Athens was told this week it would not be paid further rescue funds until a compliance review of terms attached to Greece’s staggering £74billion (€86billion) was concluded.
But Costas Panagopoulos, head of the Alco polling institute, said the uncertainty is damaging the Greek economy.
He said: “What we are witnessing is a disaster for the real economy because everything is on hold.
“Once again we are talking about an economic catastrophe, once again we are talking about Grexit.”
He added: “The next few weeks are critical. If an agreement isn’t reached, if there is yet more uncertainty, we don’t know how Greeks will react.
In July Greece will have to repay €7.4billion to its creditors, who have demanded the country be given additional austerity measures once the current bailout expires.
The International Monetary Fund has argued the country will never be able to reach its agreed goal of a surplus of 3.5 per cent of GDP by 2018, thanks to reductions in pensions and the tax-free threshold of personal incomes.
But Tsipras blasted back at the IMF’s demands in a fiery parliamentary debate last Wednesday, arguing they go “beyond any democratic and constitutional logic and value”.
The IMF’s board will discuss the issue formally on 6 December, but has already suggested it will be unable to contribute further loans without a commitment of debt relief from the EU.