A Greek source, who used to work at the heart of the former government, has told International Business Times UK that 90 percent of pressure on Greece to leave the euro was coming from outside the eurozone area.

As the clock ticks down on yet another bond deadline - this time for €14 billion (£11.6 billion) - pressure was mounting on the Greek government to accept a further bailout but under stricter austerity conditions.

The technocratic government, led by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, is in negotiations to finalise a deal with private investors, who in October voluntarily agreed to a 50 percent reduction in the value of their Greek bond holdings as a maeasure to ease the eurozone crisis.

"If this agreement is finalised, then Greece is almost saved," the source said.

Hedge funds are also at the centre of the storm and could haemorrhage billions of euros if Greece ends up defaulting on its debts.

"Hedge funds, which bought Greek bonds only to make huge profits, will have huge losses. We have to see what happens with the private sector investors and then we'll have a better idea of what will happen," the source added.

Elsewhere in the eurozone

Strong bond auctions on Thursday in Italy and Spain pushed stocks higher. Italy was able to sell one-year bonds at a rate of just 2.735 percent, less than half the 5.95 percent rate it paid last month. Spain was able to raise twice as much money as it had sought to raise in its own bond sale due to strong demand.

Investors have been concerned that the two countries might get dragged into the region's debt crisis. Greece, Ireland and Portugal were forced to seek relief from their lenders after their borrowing costs rose to levels they could no longer afford.

In currency trading, the euro rose to $1.2843 from $1.2827 late on Thursday in New York.