February 24, 2009 / 7:15 PM / 9 years ago

Harper sees long-term risk from rescue efforts

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper thinks there are long-term risks from the various financial rescue packages that nations around the world are adopting, a senior government source said on Tuesday.

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper departs after meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. Headquarters in New York February 23, 2009. REUTERS/Chip East</p>

But the source, speaking to reporters, said in some cases countries have no choice to take some of these actions “to prevent something worse from happening”.

Harper’s minority Conservative government unveiled a stimulus-packed budget last month that will rack up deficits of C$64 billion ($52 billion) over the next two years, while promising to return to surplus in five years.

The prime minister told a closed business round table in New York on Monday that he did not know whether countries around the world had worked out what the consequences of measures such as bank bailouts would be, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported.

“Harper is definitely concerned that all the strategies being employed are so focused on short-term survival that are we creating an equally big long-term problem?” the paper quoted one participant in the meeting as saying.

($1=$1.24 Canadian)

Reporting by Randall Palmer, writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Galloway

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