Remain "alert and vigilant" to risks in Greece: DPM Tharman

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The direct impact of a collapse in the Greek economy is not significant even in the euro zone, but any setback in confidence could hurt the global economy, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the 42nd annual dinner of the Association of Banks in Singapore, DPM Tharman said: "we should not be alarmed, but we should stay alert and vigilant".

It is too early to say if some form of Grexit - Greece's exit from Eurozone - will become a reality, but it is a contingency that euro zone markets and governments have been preparing for, he added.

Still, economic distress in Greece might give way to political and social turmoil.

"Any setback in confidence could hurt a still tentative economic recovery in Europe, which will have spillover effects in the rest of the world economy," he added.

chiaym@sph.com.sg