By Randall Palmer
ISTANBUL, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Regulatory and financial reforms have helped diminish the risk Greece may pose to the euro zone, Canada’s finance minister said on Tuesday, amidst growing concern about Athens’ determination to ease austerity measures.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of 20 (G20) leading economies, Joe Oliver also said the mood at the talks was “determined”, but not optimistic.
“There’s a great deal at stake for the global economy,” he said.
“The United States is doing well, the UK, Canada, Australia, but generally global growth is disappointing, and there are some regions that are really not doing very well at all, and there are systemic risks in some countries.”
A major focus during the G20 meeting has been Greece, with Athens seeking a new debt arrangement and demanding a reversal of austerity, but Oliver said euro zone reforms had diminished the risks that were confronted previously.
Asked to react to the Greek finance minister’s description of the euro zone as a house of cards that would collapse if Greece left, Oliver said: “I would just say, he seems to be talking to his base.”
Oliver added later: “We certainly hope that Greece will stay in the currency union, but that remains to be seen.” (Editing by Nick Tattersall and David Dolan)