Euro's future in question even if Greece rescued: Soros

Financier and philanthropist George Soros attends a forum at the University of Hong Kong February 3, 2010. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A makeshift assistance should be enough to rescue Greece but bigger problems facing Europe would leave the future of the euro currency in question, billionaire investor George Soros said.

Writing in the Financial Times, Soros said what the European Union needed was more intrusive monitoring and institutional arrangements for conditional assistance. He said a well organized eurobond market was desirable.

“A makeshift assistance should be enough for Greece, but that leaves Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland. Together they constitute too large of a portion of euroland to he helped in this way,” Soro said.

“The survival of Greece would still leave the future of the euro in question.”

Greece’s deficit swelled to 12.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2009, way above the EU’s cap of 3 percent. Greece has pledged to reduce its budget deficit to 8.7 percent in 2010.

On Saturday, a magazine reported Germany’s finance ministry has sketched out a plan in which countries using the euro currency will provide aid worth between 20 billion and 25 billion euros ($27-$33.7 billion) for Greece.

Reporting by Kazunori Takada; Editing by Anshuman Daga