With Sunday’s final deadline for an agreement between Greece and its international creditors looming, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged the two sides to reach a viable solution.
In a discussion at the Brookings Institute on Wednesday, Lew agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, which found that the Greek debt is unsustainable, and urged Europeans to move forward with debt restructuring.
“The reluctance to restructure European debt is deep on the part of many European players. I think it is a combination of an economic view and also the level of trust. I think what we will see in the next few days is can parties come together and build enough trust? Greece will take the actions that it needs to take so that Europe will restructure the debt in a way that is more sustainable,” he said.
Although Lew maintained that the risk of the European crisis affecting the United States is much smaller than it was in 2011, he noted that a deal between Greece and its creditors is important for geopolitical and economic stability.
“I have continued to believe that is in the best interest of all parties to find a solution,” he said. “Greece needs to have a sustainable debt path and a growth path in its future and good deal would give it a shot at that. I think it is a mistake for the European economy, the global economy, to take the risks involved with the uncontrollable crisis in Greece.”