December 10, 2009 / 12:22 PM / 10 years ago

Soros sure Greece won't be allowed to default - Sky

Financier George Soros speaks during an interview at the UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen December 10, 2009. REUTERS/Bob Strong

LONDON (Reuters) - Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros said on Thursday he was sure the Greek government would not be allowed to default on its debts despite growing budgetary difficulties and market concerns.

“There has to be pressure on Greece to put its house in order but I’m sure that Greece will not be allowed to default. The same applies to the United Kingdom,” Soros told Sky News television.

Soros said there were heightened market concerns about sovereign defaults around the world following the recent debt restructuring proposal for Dubai’s leading companies.

But he said the chances of such a default were remote.

“There are concerns about sovereign defaults but it is a rather remote one. Dubai shook the world for a day because it raised the spectre of sovereign defaults,” Soros said, adding the Dubai problem was an issue of Abu Dhabi seeking a more independent financial position from the Dubai emirate.

Fitch Ratings cut Greece’s debt rating to BBB+ on Tuesday with a negative outlook — the first time in 10 years a major ratings agency has put Greece below an A grade — citing fiscal deterioration in the euro zone’s weakest member. The move hit bank shares, bonds and the euro.

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