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Obama: Greek crisis is a big problem for Europe, less so for America

Greece's financial crisis "is an issue of substantial concern" for the whole world, President Obama said on Tuesday. That said, he added, "It is an issue primarily of concern to Europe."

"For the American people, this is not something that we believe will have a major shock to the system," the president said at a White House press conference with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, "but obviously it's very painful for the Greek people and it can have a significant effect on growth rates in Europe."

He added, "It's something that we take seriously, but it's not something that I think should prompt overreactions. So far I think the markets have properly factored in the risks involved."

Mr. Obama noted that he's worked with European allies on this issue since Greece's serious economic problems developed about five years ago.

"And what we've been encouraging both the Greek government and our European partners to do is to continue to negotiate and find a pathway towards a resolution" that allows Greece to grow its economy and stay a part of the Eurozone.

"It is also important for us to make sure that we plan for any contingency and that we work with the European Central Bank and other international institutions to make sure that some of the bumps that may occur in the financial markets and that have already occurred are smoothed out," Mr. Obama said.

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