Greek default inevitable: Britain's former finance minister

26th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Greek default on its debts is inevitable and eurozone countries must act now to prevent other countries going the same way, Britain's former finance minister Alistair Darling said Sunday.

Darling, who held the key post during Britain's 2008 banking bailout, accused European leaders of having alloweed the Greek crisis to "run on and on and on", in an interview with Sky News.

European governments had "only this weekend...realised it is only a matter of time before Greece defaults," the Labour lawmaker said.

"It is imperative the eurozone countries take action now and not let it drag on for the next few weeks because the risk is it will bring down other countries with it," he added.

Darling attacked leaders for not taking on board the lessons learnt from the 2008 financial meltdown. The current crisis, he argued, was more serious than the one that threatened economies three years ago.

"There are lessons to be learnt and they are not being learnt by those responsible at the moment," he added.

Greece and the euro face a week of trials from Monday as European and IMF experts resume a fiscal audit that will decide if debt-hit Athens can still escape default.

The German parliament will on Thursday vote on a stronger version of the permanent European Union stability fund that would permit sovereign debt restructuring, a fallback the eurozone looks increasingly likely to need.

© 2011 AFP

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