The billionaire investor George Soros said Wednesday that it was possible Greece could be pushed out of the euro zone this year.
“The odds, let’s say, are in that direction,’’ Mr. Soros said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Instead of working to keep the country as a member of the single currency, he added, European policymakers ought to focus on saving the rest of the euro bloc.
Recent action by the European Central Bank — which moved to provide large amounts of liquidity to the region’s banks in December — have calmed the financial markets for now, he acknowledged. But he said these measures would not be enough to solve the festering sovereign debt problems that have driven up the borrowing costs of weaker euro zone countries. Spain and Italy, he said, remain “dangerously exposed.’’
“It leaves the weaker members of the euro zone relegated to the status of third world countries that became highly indebted in a foreign currency,’’ he said. “Germany is acting as the task master imposing tough fiscal discipline. This will generate both economic and political tensions that could destroy the European Union.’’