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Greece: Europe's contagion concern

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Greece: Europe's contagion concern

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The longer the Greek crisis drags on, the more fears grow that contagion could spread to the eurozone’s other troubled economies. Countries like Portugal which have been bailed out before. Portugal’s newly elected Prime Minister tried to sound upbeat as he arrived in Brussels.

‘‘We are not going to rest until the confidence that was placed in us is returned. I want to assure you that we are doing all that is in our power, with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, so that the austerity programme in Portugal is a success,’‘ Portuguese premier Pedro Passos Coelho said.

Some experts believe Greek default is now certain. The question is when and how much that will undermine the euro and the economies of other member states. The other fear is that a Greek bankruptcy would hammer private lenders, prompting another credit crunch on the scale, or even worse, than Lehman Brothers in 2008.

From Brussels, euronews correspondent Maria Barradas said: ‘‘Contagion is the word used most in decision making centres. Greek debt in the financial world is a dangerous bacteria in which no one wants to be exposed. The truth is for the moment, no one really knows how to prevent it spreading.