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Business

Countries in deep debt should dump euro, investor says

One of the world's largest bond investors, Pimco, suggests financially troubled Greece, Ireland and Portugal should temporarily leave the eurozone to put their economies back on track.

A front-end loader at a rubbish dump

Some nations may want to scrap their euro membership

Greece, Ireland and Portugal won't be able to overcome their financial problems without their own currency or massive fund transfers, Andrew Bosomworth, head of portfolio management at Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco), said in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt.

With more than $1.3 trillion of assets, Pimco is one of the world's largest bond investment firms. The company, based in Newport Beach, California, is owned by Germany's Allianz Group.

Bosomworth said if the three nations reverted to their own currencies, they would be able to sell their products abroad more competitively and use export revenues to drive further economic growth and repay their heavy debt loads.

Investor confidence

Once economic growth and investor confidence returned to the countries, they could reintegrate into the single currency area, he added.

The idea of countries leaving the eurozone has been making the rounds ever since the Greek debt crisis emerged with news that the country's financial situation was far worse than previously acknowledged.

Portuguese euro coin

Portugal could become the next eurozone rescue candidate

Many experts argue, however, that such a move would lead to massive costs that would ultimately undermine economic performance.

The two rescue packages for Greece and Ireland and the possibility of Portugal and even Spain becoming the next bailout candidates have found eurozone countries scrambling to save the common currency in the long term.

Help from partners

On Thursday, European Union leaders agreed on a change in the bloc's rule-book, the Lisbon Treaty, clearing the way for a permanent rescue fund for crisis-hit eurozone countries from mid-2013.

Bosomworth believes that Belgium, Italy and Spain will be able to get over their own debt problems while remaining inside the eurozone - but only with substantial help from partners.

Author: John Blau (AFP, dpa)
Editor: Sam Edmonds

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