British Chancellor George Osborne identified on Monday a potential standoff between Greece and the eurozone as a major threat to the global economy after holding talks at 11 Downing Street in London with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
“We had a constructive discussion, and it is clear that the stand-off between Greece and the eurozone is the greatest risk to the global economy,” Osborne said after the 45-minute talks.
“I urge the Greek finance minister to act responsibly but it’s also important that the eurozone has a better plan for jobs and growth.”
Osborne’s comments echo those made by US President Barack Obama, in which he suggested that Greece needed growth rather than more austerity.
“You cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression,” when CNN’s Fareed Zakaria asked him about the case of Greece. “At some point, there has to be a growth strategy in order to pay off their debts and eliminate some of their deficits.”
Varoufakis did not speak to the press after the meeting. He is also due to meet with some 100 investors and bankers in London on Monday.
“The message will be that we are very open to investment, that people should listen to the finance minister, who’s got absolute confidence of the prime minister, rather than other noises from any other direction,” a source told Reuters.
“We will be able to service the Greek debt on terms that will have no detrimental impact on, especially private, bond holders,” added the source.