Euro crisis getting worse, will drag on -Britain
LONDON, June 15 |
LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - The euro zone debt crisis is getting worse and will drag on through the summer, British finance minister George Osborne said on Friday, warning that Europe faced a "moment of reckoning".
British policymakers, who announced billions of pounds in support for Britain's financial system on Thursday, have been criticised by their euro zone counterparts for lecturing from the sidelines, which they say only makes matters worse.
Britain, the largest European economy not in the euro, has blamed its second recession in four years on the banking and sovereign debt crisis in the 17-state single currency bloc.
"What's pretty clear is that the euro zone has not been able to solve this problem and it's getting worse," Osborne said in an interview with CBS News.
"We have the Greek elections coming up very shortly and we have the problems with the bond spreads, the cost of borrowing, for the Spanish government, and we have all sorts of other issues at the moment, so I don't think there is going to be a rapid resolution, sadly, of this problem and it's going to be with us through the summer."
G20 leaders meet in Mexico on Monday and Tuesday with the euro crisis likely to dominate talks after a Greek election on Sunday that is being seen as a referendum on its membership of the euro zone.
"The worst thing for the world would be a Greek exit without a plan to deal with the contagion, because that would be like letting Lehman Brothers go and not having a plan for the day after," Osborne told the U.S. television network.
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