Australian PM meets IMF officials for the Greek crisis

17:35, May 07, 2010      

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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Friday had talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and key Treasury officials, as the Greek debt crisis has threatened to spark another global financial meltdown.

Australia would have the capacity to withstand any financial and economic shocks arising from the crisis in Greece and Europe, Rudd told reporters.

IMF first deputy managing director John Lipsky spoke to Rudd about the current risks in the global economy and the role of the Group of 20 nations, of which Australia was a member.

Lipsky has briefed Rudd on the latest developments in Greece and the IMF's response, a spokesman for the prime minister told Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Hours after the New York markets closed, Treasurer Wayne Swan was hopeful Greece could be bailed out.

"The problems that Greece are currently facing are manageable by the international community," Swan told AAP on Friday.

Swan has warned that while there were still risks in the global economy, Australia had one of the "strongest and most stable" economies in the world.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) was also optimistic. Its quarterly statement on monetary policy, released on Friday, has predicted the Australian economy would grow by 3.75 percent from now until mid-2011.

In February, it was tipping a 3.5 percent growth pace.

By the end of 2012, economic growth could hit four percent, the RBA said.

The urgent talks were held after the U.S. and European markets sank over fears other economies could be infected.

Panic selling has swept U.S. markets Thursday night as the Dow Jones plunged a record of almost 1000 points before recouping more than half those losses.

It was unclear if fears about Greece's debt problems sparked the abrupt sell-off, or if it was a technical error on the trading floor.

Credit ratings agency Moody's said the Greek financial crisis could affect the banking systems of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Source: Xinhua


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