World finance officials said Saturday they see a number of threats on the horizon for a global economy still clawing back from the deepest recession in seven decades, and a potential Greek debt default presents the most immediate risk.
After finance officials wrapped up three days of talks, the International Monetary Fund’s policy committee set a goal of working toward a “more robust, balanced and job-rich global economy” while acknowledging growing risks to achieving that objective.
The Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, held a series of talks with finance officials on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the 188-nation IMF and World Bank, trying to settle his country’s latest crisis.
Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, said it was “urgent” to resolve the dispute between Greece and its creditors.
A default, he said, would send the global economy into “uncharted waters” and the extent of the possible damage would be hard to estimate. He told reporters that he did not want to even contemplate the chance of a default.
Earlier in the week, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde had rejected suggestions that her agency might postpone repayment deadlines for Greece. On Saturday, she cited constructive talks with Varoufakis and said the goal was to stabilize Greece’s finances and assure an economic recovery and “make sure the whole partnership hangs together” between Greece and its creditors.