Greece’s Syriza govt could pose greater risk to global economy than Middle East conflict

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (L) shakes hands with Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, as he leaves after their meeting at Downing Street in London February 2, 2015. (Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

Greece’s standoff with Eurozone governments and international creditors poses a greater threat to the global economy than conflict in the Middle East, climate change and rising tensions between Russia and the West, UK Chancellor George Osborne says.After a meeting with Greece’s new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, Osborne implored Greece and the Eurozone’s 18 other states to act “responsibly” as the newly elected Greek government attempts to renegotiate the country’s €240 billion (£180 billion) bailout program. Since coming to power in late January, the largely leftist Syriza government’s challenge to the austerity diktats of EU policy makers has been made clear.  As it continues to collide with Eurocrats over plans to reverse draconian austerity policies and renegotiate the country’s debt burden, concern is growing among neoliberal governments and international creditors alike. Following his meeting with Varoufakis on Monday morning, Osborne said the discussions were “constructive.” But he warned that the current impasse between the Greek government, Eurocrats and international creditors poses a serious risk to economic stability throughout Europe. Osborne said he asked Varoufakis to “act responsibly” when preparing to restructure Greece’s social and economic position on a heavily indebted European stage. But he acknowledged the Eurozone needs a “better plan for jobs and growth.” More