A senior U.S. Treasury official said Thursday the administration is ratcheting up the pressure on the eurozone to reach an emergency financing bailout for Greece, warning that failure to resolve the crisis jeopardizes global growth.
“We΄ve been clear to require a constructive and pragmatic way forward,” the senior Treasury official said after talks with European counterparts.
“It΄s going to require some compromise on all sides, it΄s going to require somewhat toning down of the rhetoric,” the official said.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and his top lieutenants have talked with their counterparts from the European Commission, Greece, Germany, France and other key parties this week as the acrimonious bailout talks barely grind ahead across the Atlantic.
Earlier Thursday, Germany rejected a request by Athens to extend the government΄s current bailout program. Officials from Berlin said Greece sought a bridge loan without offering enough commitments to cut spending, raise taxes and restructure the economy.
U.S. officials are increasingly worried that the Greek crisis could tilt the eurozone back into recession, fracture the currency union, bruise a fragile global economy and damage a strengthening U.S. recovery.
Asked if the U.S. has a contingency plan if the Greece exits the eurozone, the senior Treasury official said, “It΄s imperative that a constructive way forward be found.
“If the talks break down…Greece will feel the economic effects immediately and it will be an increase in the uncertainty facing the euro area and the global economy,” the official said.