EU's Rehn: U.S. debt situation "very serious" for world

KOENIGSTEIN, Germany Wed Jun 8, 2011 2:15pm EDT

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KOENIGSTEIN, Germany (Reuters) - The current debt strains in the U.S. are very serious and have an impact on Europe and the rest of the world, the European commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, Olli Rehn, said on Wednesday.

"The situation concerning the U.S. fiscal deficit and debt is a very serious one and the Republicans and the Democrats do seem to make much progress on an agreement (on the deficit)," Rehn said at a Financial Times Deutschland Banking event.

"Some small steps have been taken but nothing fundamental... I hope it finds a deal sooner than later because it has an real monetary impact on the whole world economy and certainly Europe."

"But at this stage it is difficult to be excessively optimistic over such a deal in the short term," Rehn added.

(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen and Marc Jones)

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