The possibility of war in Iraq is harming the local and European economy, officials said yesterday. «The possible war in Iraq has already affected developments. Stock exchanges have a downward trend, investments are not being made at the normal rate, there is a sense of expectation and doubt. It is logical for businesses to want to see the landscape clearing,» PM Costas Simitis said after meeting with the general secretary of the Union of Industrial and Employers Confederations of Europe (UNICE), Philipe de Buck, and the head of the Federation of Greek Industrialists, Odysseas Kyriakopoulos. Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said: «We face problems with geopolitical uncertainty… This has led to more pessimism about the growth rate in Europe.» The European Central Bank’s deputy governor, Lucas Papademos, told the French daily Le Monde that a war in Iraq would pose «a significant danger» for a recovery.