London (CNN) – Endless political rhetoric and billions in bailouts have left Greece no closer to solving the dangerous dilemma it is facing today.
Should the country give up trying to pay its bills and incur the wrath of its creditors? Or leave a monetary union that has brought a decade of comparative prosperity and stability?
So, how much is at stake?
Greece has $370 billion of outstanding debt - equal to around 3% percent of the eurozone’s total obligations. Compare that with 23% percent for Italy, whose debt pile stands at a whopping $1.9 trillion - and you can see that a Greek default would be less extreme than for other, larger eurozone partners.
But Greece is grabbing the headlines because its predicament exposes potentially fatal errors in the common currency project.
(CNN) – As China once again is getting calls to bail out a European nation, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told a group of business leaders that “countries must first put their own house in order.”
While “willing to extend a helping hand,” China is working on its own woes with inflation and structural reforms, Wen told the audience at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China, on Wednesday. “Developed countries must take responsible fiscal and monetary policies. What is most important now is to prevent the further spread of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe,” said Wen, according to Bloomberg.
His comments come after reports that Rome is in talks with Beijing to buy Italian debt bonds and invest in some key Italian companies. That report sent stocks higher Tuesday, as the equity markets continued a roller-coaster ride over fears that a Greek default is imminent, sparking a debt contagion as investors lose appetite to buy other European bonds.
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