Worst of financial crisis over for Greece, says Prodi
THE worst of Greece's financial crisis is over and other European nations will not follow in its path, former European Commission President Romano Prodi said yesterday.
"For Greece, the problem is completely over," Mr Prodi, who also served as Italian prime minister, said in an interview in Shanghai. "I don't see any other case now in Europe. I don't think there is any reason to think the euro system will collapse or will suffer greatly because of Greece."
But concerns that Greece's budget crisis will undermine the global recovery contributed to a second consecutive monthly drop in an index of confidence in the world economy.
The Bloomberg Professional Global Confidence Index fell to 53.8 from 54.9 in February. The reading was over 50 for an eighth month, meaning t more optimists than pessimists.
However, the confidence gauge for Western Europe fell to 41 from 49.8 as Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou struggled to convince investors his government was serious about taming Europe's biggest budget deficit, which has stoked financial market turmoil since January.
"Confidence has been a bit shaky with Greece being a timely reminder that governments need to adhere to fiscal discipline," said Tai Hui, head of Southeast Asian economic research at Standard Chartered in Singapore. "Governments are starting to consolidate their fiscal positions and not looking to expand their spending plans anytime soon."
"The problem about Greece's debts is not solved, it's only put off," said Reto Huenerwadel, UBS economist. at UBS in zurich.