June 14, 2012 / 7:09 PM / 7 years ago

World Bank chief rejects involvement in Greece

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the World Bank rejected suggestions on Thursday that the global development institution get involved in resolving the Greek debt crisis, saying the bank’s limited resources were best used to help developing countries.

Development experts and some analysts have often said that the World Bank’s expertise in resolving structural problems in developing countries - such as strengthening institutional capacity - would be helpful to Greece.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said the bank was helping countries in central and eastern Europe affected by the financial spillovers from the euro-zone crisis and stayed away from involvement in Greece.

“In the case of Greece, my own view is we’ve tried to keep a little distance from this,” Zoellick told the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

“My concern was that if the Bank had gone in (as a) reform taskmaster for the Greek government ... then it might not be as productive for Greece as it would be harmful to the bank,” he added.

Greece faces a critical election on Sunday that will determine whether it stays in the single-currency euro zone. The country has been kept afloat with the help of EU-IMF financial help, and the EU has warned that no more bailout money will be handed to Athens unless it meets its budget and reform pledges.

Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Jan Paschal

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