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World Bank president warns of dangerous global economy

08-16-2011 15:07 BJT

CANBERRA, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- World Bank President Robert Zoellick, who is visiting Australia, on Tuesday warned the world is living in "difficult and dangerous times" and called for national governments to seek long-term debt curbs to solve the current sovereign debt crises in Europe and the United States.

In a joint media press conference with Australian federal Treasurer Wayne Swan, Zoellick said it was important for Europe and the U.S. to understand others had a stake in "this game".

"While these are European decisions for Europe ... we're part of an international economy and we all have a lot at stake," Zoellick told reporters in a press conference in Canberra on Tuesday.

"My key message is that the process of providing liquidity, the process of kind of hoping that global growth will get everybody out of this, I think those prospects have run their course and that's what markets are communicating."

Zoellick also said it was time to push a free trade agenda, warning against rising protectionism as nations seek to solve their debt crisis.

"This is really at a stage where you still have sovereign governments having to make decisions in Europe," Zoellick said.

"It really is going to be the responsibility of each of those sovereign entities to make the calls on how they are going to face not only the short-term challenges, often assisted by their central banks, but also go to the medium and long term."

Zoellick's comments came as finance ministers of five nations - Canada, Britain, South Africa, Singapore and Australia - wrote a joint article to urge global action to restore confidence and for governments to do more to restore finances.

Both Zoellick and Swan said that the Europe and U.S. debt crisis, as well as the impacts on global market confidences will be key points of discussion at the upcoming G20 meeting of world leaders.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard met with Zoellick in Canberra on Monday. The pair has discussed the impacts of current uncertainties on developed and developing countries.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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