WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top U.S. Treasury Department official arrived in Athens on Tuesday to discuss Greece’s plans for restoring economic growth and stability, before heading to Germany, Spain and France this week for more talks, the department said.
Under Secretary for International Affairs Lael Brainard “will meet with senior government officials in each country to discuss their plans for achieving economic stability and growth in Europe,” it said in a news release.
The trip comes as the deepening euro zone crisis raises the threat of a recession on the continent that could endanger growth in the United States and around the world.
Brainard begins her four-day visit in Athens, the epicenter of the Europe’s economic turmoil over the past two years, and has meetings on Wednesday in both Frankfurt and Madrid.
She will meet with officials in Paris on Thursday and then travel to Berlin for talks on both Thursday and Friday.
Greece was forced to call repeat elections for June 17 after a vote last month left its parliament divided evenly between groups that support and oppose the austerity conditions attached to its 130 billion euro bailout agreed with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Growing uncertainty about whether Greece will remain in the euro zone has reignited the 17-nation currency bloc’s debt crisis. In Spain, where the bursting of a property bubble has severely strained banks, 10-year borrowing costs have neared the 7 percent level that drove other states to seek a bailout.
Reporting By Doug Palmer; Editing by Andrea Ricci