Greece-Eurozone standoff presents "greatest risk to economy" George Osborne warns as Yanis Varoufakis visits London

Catherine Neilan
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George Osborne and Yanis Varoufakis today (Source: Getty)

The standoff between Greece and the Eurozone presents the greatest risk to the global economy, chancellor George Osborne has said.

Osborne, who met Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis in London today, said both sides needed to consider how they worked in future, or risk derailing growth, both globally and specifically within the UK.
Varoufakis was in London today (Monday February 2) as part of a tour of Europe's capitals following the election of anti-austerity party Syriza last Sunday.
After the meeting, held in London today, Osborne told Reuters: "We had a constructive discussion, and it is clear that the stand-off between Greece and the euro zone is the greatest risk to the global economy.”
"I urge the Greek finance minister to act responsibly but it's also important that the euro zone has a better plan for jobs and growth," he added. “It is a rising threat to the British economy. And we have got to make sure that in Europe as in Britain, we choose competence over chaos."
Although Syriza's win was not unexpected, the arrival of a far-left government within the Eurozone has sent European bonds and the euro into turmoil.
In Paris at the weekend, Varoufakis said it would take up to four months to agree a new “contract” with Greece's creditors – despite the €172m (£114m) bailout expiring at the end of the month.
Osborne was expected to tell his counterpart that the UK would not be sympathetic to demands for a wholesale restructuring of Greece's debt.

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