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24th Apr 2019

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Greek crisis is 'tip of the iceberg,' Chinese official says

A senior Chinese official entered the debate on the heath of Europe's economy on Thursday (25 March) saying the current crisis surrounding Greece should not be seen as an isolated problem.

"Greece is only one case, but it's only a tip of the iceberg," People's Bank of China Deputy Governor Zhu Min told an investment forum in Hong Kong.

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  • Senior Chinese and EU officials are set to meet next month in Beijing (Photo: Dutch EU Presidency)

Mr Zhu added that the "main concern today obviously is Spain and Italy," reports Dow Jones Newswires. The comments were made only hours before EU leaders were set to meet in Brussels to discuss economic issues, and a day after fresh turmoil swept through the 16-member eurozone.

On Wednesday, Fitch ratings agency downgraded Portugal's credit worthiness, sending the euro currency to a 10-month low against the dollar and highlighting the region's fragile economic situation.

In Brussels, Chinese diplomats insisted that Beijing was hoping for a quick resolution to Athens' woes, as the Greek administration struggles under a €300 billion debt pile and punishingly high borrowing costs.

"We hope that the fiscal situation in Greece will be properly resolved," a spokesman for the Chinese EU mission, Wang Xining, told this website.

"I don't think he [Mr Zhu] made the remarks to intentionally harm the European economy. I doubt he imagined his comments would be strong enough to do that," Mr Wang added.

China urges Germany and France to solve euro-crisis

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday offered vague promises to buy bonds from troubled euro-countries, but said that it is ultimately up to Germany and France to solve the crisis.

MEPs and China mark change in relationship

Members of the five big political groups in the European Parliament have met with members of the one big political group in the National People's Congress of China, in what has been described as a “changing” and "very friendly" climate.

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