WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has measures on hand to cope with the aftermath of elections in Greece on Sunday that could trigger global financial turmoil, a top U.S. official said on Friday, adding that the government will work closely with Europe to bolster market confidence if needed.
“We are, across the U.S. government, always making sure that we have a tool kit, and that we are well prepared for any set of exigencies that may arise,” Lael Brainard, the U.S. Treasury under secretary for international affairs, told reporters.
The Greek elections come as world powers gather in Mexico for a meeting of the Group of 20. The Greek ballot could decide if the debt-plagued nation stays in the euro currency bloc or heads toward the exit, potentially slamming global financial markets.
Brainard, a key U.S. official on international monetary affairs, said it was in Greek interests to stay in the euro and stick to an agreed pact of austerity measures and international aid, but stressed Washington was prepared for any eventually.
“There is a set of tools that are well understood and there is always, in any time period, readiness,” she told a briefing for the White House press corp.
The G20 leaders’ summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Monday and Tuesday will be dominated by the euro zone debt crisis, with the elections in Greece taking place as leaders arrive in Mexico on Sunday.
Brainard said European leaders taking part in the summit would be well positioned to explain what happens next to the rest of the G20, and voiced confidence the forum would collaborate closely to contain any post-Greek fallout.
“Everyone is well prepared, too, in the wake of the elections on Greece, to work together to make sure there is a path forward that is sustainable for Greece and bolsters confidence more broadly,” she said.
Reporting By Alister Bull; Editing by Leslie Adler