'Give Greece more time,' Gurria says
Greece should be given more time to reprofile its debt load before more drastic action is considered, the head of the OECD told CBC News.
In an interview on the Lang & O'Leary Exchange, Angel Gurria says the debt-laden Mediterranean country has taken some positive steps in turning around its economy, but more time and effort are needed.
He says rather than restructuring the debt by ultimately allowing them to pay back much less than the full amount that has been borrowed (a drastic action that would surely be met with a devastating downgrade to the country's credit rating) officials should consider "reprofiling" or rescheduling the length of time that the country has to pay back its loans.
"That may be a good idea," he told Amanda Lang, "In order to give time for the policies to work."
The OECD head says the Greeks should be lauded for just how much work they've already done. "One should not underestimate the enormity of the effort that is being asked of them," Gurria said.
Greece is struggling to live up to the repayment terms of a $161 billion bailout it received last year.Protests are widespread to the ongoing austerity measures.
In a wide-ranging interview, Gurria also said he is convinced that the euro will survive the acid test of the unfolding debt crisis, and emerge strong and united. He also say the IMF deserves credit for considering a non-European to be elected head of one of the world's most influential financial bodies.
"Before only Europeans were considered. Now it's merit based."
Click the player above to watch the interview.