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Greece may need more euro zone help: Osborne
London - Greece may need more help to get through its debt crisis but Britain will argue it should not be part of any further rescue package, finance minister George Osborne said on Sunday.
Ministers from the euro zone’s biggest economies met on Friday to discuss Greece’s debt situation and Osborne indicated talks were ongoing.
He said Greece’s lack of access to international debt markets was problematic but denied the country would necessarily be forced to default.
 “I certainly don’t think it’s inevitable that Greece is going to default,” Osborne told the BBC.
 “I think it’s inevitable that we are going to look at the Greek package and see what they can do to get through next year but that might involve additional assistance from, for example, the euro zone.”
Osborne admitted markets were skeptical about Greece’s ability to refinance maturing debt, something that had been assumed when international lenders first agreed to help Greece last year.
“The market is quite skeptical about that happening and I suspect a lot of my time over the next few weeks is going to be with other European finance ministers talking about how we try to help the Greeks get through this situation,” he said.
He said he did not want Britain to be part of any further bailout of Greece, and was a “reluctant participant” in the EU/IMF bailout of Portugal.
 “I didn’t sign up to that approach. It was something signed up to by my predecessor,” he said.
 “We certainly don’t want to be part of any bailout of Greece, a second bailout of Greece.”
Osborne said the global economic environment remained a tough one, but said it would be disastrous from Britain to abandon its deficit-cutting plan.
Monday 2011-05-09  |  03:42:12   
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