Canada, G20 want quick Europe steps on crisis

Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:27am EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada and other G20 nations are encouraging euro zone countries to take fast action on the European debt crisis after a poor sale of German benchmark bonds, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Wednesday.

"Delay is the enemy. Things get worse. It affected as you know the German bond auction," he told reporters, saying the crisis was starting to become global.

"We have very serious concerns about this. I've been talking to some of my non-European G20 colleagues about it and we're very much encouraging the euro zone countries to make the decisions they need to make in order to ring-fence the problem," he said.

The Bundesbank was forced to retain almost half of a sale of 6 billion euros due to a shortage of bids by investors, prompting fears that the debt crisis was starting to affect the euro zone's strongest economy.

"I would hope that we would not have to get to this but here we have yet another country being affected by the contagion within the euro zone and we're starting to see countries around the world affected, including some of the poorer countries," Flaherty said.

"So this is becoming increasingly a global problem."

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway)