NEWS

Papandreou says poor monitoring worsened crisis

Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said European Union regulators and credit rating agencies bear some blame for his nation?s debt crisis.

Papandreou, who resigned last month, said of the debt crisis that his predecessors ?didn?t really see it coming,? according to the transcript of an interview scheduled for broadcast tomorrow on ?CNN?s Fareed Zakaria GPS.?

?Had there been a stronger monitoring of the European Union from the European Union, and even the ratings agencies, on the member states, I would not have, as a prime minister, inherited a situation where the deficit was close to 16 percent and the debt almost doubled in the previous government,? he said.

?That?s why I think monitoring is important,? Papandreou said. ?We?re paying for it right now, and many of the Greeks are unjustly paying for this, for things that they weren?t responsible for,? said Papandreou, whose government collapsed on Nov. 10. He was replaced by Lucas Papademos, a former European Central Bank vice president.

Greece needs a sixth disbursement of loans under last year?s 110 billion-euro ($148 billion) rescue and a planned second package of 130 billion euros to avoid economic collapse.

The euro area and the International Monetary Fund, which are funding the two packages, including the next payment of 8 billion euros, have said they want Greece?s main political leaders to commit to spending cuts beyond the life of the Papademos-led unity government.

Greek debt will reach 163 percent of gross domestic product this year and jump to 198 percent in 2012, the EU?s Brussels- based executive arm said in its autumn economic forecast. That compares with debt of 173 percent of GDP predicted by the Greek government in its 2012 draft budget.

[Bloomberg]