US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew called Wednesday for Greece’s debt crisis to be resolved quickly to avoid the risk of “accidents”, as G7 finance ministers gathered.
“Brinkmanship is a dangerous thing when it only takes one accident,” he said in a talk at the London School of Economics university.
“Everyone has to double down, and treat the next deadline as if it’s the last deadline and get this resolved.
“The risk of going from deadline to deadline only increases the risk of an accidents,” he said before heading to Dresden in eastern Germany for the G7 summit.
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of Seven wealthiest nations meet in Dresden on Wednesday to discuss the global economy and financial regulation.
Athens’ woes are on the agenda amid fears of a Greek eurozone exit.
“No-one should have a false sense of confidence that they know what the result of a crisis in Greece would be,” Lew said.
“It’s in everyones interests for the situation to be resolved without a crisis.
“It’s time for everyone to park the rhetoric on the sides and look to that sensible place where accommodation can be found.”
Greece’s radical-left government has been locked in negotiations with its creditors — the IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank — for the past four months in a bid to unlock some 7.2 billion euros ($7.9 billion) in bailout cash.
With a June 5 repayment to the IMF looming, there are growing fears that a Greek default could see the country tumbling out of the eurozone, spooking global investors and markets.
Lew warned against complacency about the risks of such a scenario.
“The notion that the risk is completely contained and theres no contagion, I think that it’s a mistake to think that a failure is of no consequence outside of Greece. We don’t know the exact scope.”