An international economy expert at a Waterloo-based think-tank, in France for the G-20 summit, says it's unfortunate that the conference, which gets underway tomorrow, is being upstaged by financial instability in Greece.
Daniel Schwanen, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, says the mood in Cannes is tense, following a meeting between the French finance minister and European bank leaders this morning. He says they were mapping out a strategy in the event that the Greek bailout deal, reached less than a week ago, is defeated by voters in Greece in a referendum.
Schwanen says the looming referendum will "be the main background, but the reality is, with the referendum, we're not going to get an answer from Greece before January and thinks are pretty tense."
The pledge to hold a referendum has riled financial markets and could lead to a Greek default, forcing Greece from the euro, toppling banks and sending the global economy back into recession.
Schwanen adds the time allotted for discussion will be "more devote to crisis management than to ensuring the long-term stability of the global economy. It's definitely on everyone's mind."
Meantime, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has been summoned to Cannes to explain himself to European leaders, angry over his call for a referendum on a bailout deal that took them months to work out.