China trade min sees "chronic" euro debt problem -paper

BEIJING, Dec 24 (BestGrowthStock) – There are no quick fixes for
Europe’s debt crisis and China must be on the alert for any
escalation of the problem, especially in January and February,
China’s Commerce Minister Chen Deming was quoted as saying on

Chen said the 750-billion-euro ($983 billion) rescue fund set
up for crisis-hit EU nations and ongoing bond sales from these
countries did not solve the problem as the money would have to be
paid back at steep interest rates, the Shanghai Securities News
quoted him as saying.

“These measures just turn an acute disease into a chronic
one, and it’s really hard to say whether these countries that are
in deep trouble over the debt crisis can recover in the coming
three or five years,” Chen was quoted as saying.

Chen’s comments were the harshest of late from China, which
has been supportive of Europe’s efforts so far to tackle its
problems, in part to protect its investment in the euro.

But comments earlier this week from Chen at EU-China trade
talks urging Europe to take more urgent action to solve its
problems suggested that China’s patience may be wearing thin.

China has invested an undisclosed portion of its $2.65
trillion reserves in the euro.

A Foreign Ministry official on Thursday reiterated China’s
support for Europe, its biggest trading partner, by saying it
wanted to help the euro zone return to economic health.

A Portuguese newspaper said earlier this week that China was
ready to buy 4-5 billion euros of Portuguese government debt to
shield it from funding pressures. China’s central bank declined
to comment on the report.

Market pressure on Portugal’s fiscal health has intensified
in recent weeks as investors worry it could be next in line for a
bailout after Ireland and Greece. [ID:nLDE6BL0TY]
(Reporting by Zhou Xin and Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Chris Lewis)

China trade min sees "chronic" euro debt problem -paper