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Flaherty Says Greek Election Result Could Be Disruptive

Greece’s election could be disruptive for financial markets if the country votes to abandon the conditions attached to its bailout, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said.

Flaherty, speaking to reporters in Ottawa, said he has been having phone calls with his colleagues from the Group of 20 nations, and officials are concerned about the vote.

“It could result in a disruptive moment if the Greek election were to result in a disassociation of Greece from the pact that our European colleagues have developed with respect to austerity,” Flaherty said. “We’ll deal with it as it comes.”

Greeks vote a second time in six weeks on June 17 after a May 6 ballot failed to yield a government. The Syriza party, led by Alexis Tsipras, has promised to abrogate the terms of the 240 billion-euro ($303 billion) bailout from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, which calls for cuts that risk deepening the country’s worst recession since World War II.

The vote takes place one day before leaders from the Group of 20 nations meet in Los Cabos, Mexico, for a two-day summit. Finance ministers, including Flaherty, will also attend, with Flaherty saying he’ll arrive on June 17th.

Flaherty said the major issue will be “global economic fragility and the European situation.” While he had a “number of phone calls” with his G-20 counterparts, “particularly non-European members,” there is no formal meeting of finance ministers planned separate from the summit, Flaherty said.

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