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World Bank Chief Warns of New Danger Ahead

World Bank President Robert Zoellick (file photo)
World Bank President Robert Zoellick (file photo)

The president of the World Bank is warning the world's already troubled economic recovery is in even greater trouble.

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick told The Weekend Australian newspaper the global economy has entered what he called a "new and more dangerous phase."

In the interview, published Saturday, Zoellick put most of the blame on debt problems in Europe. He urged European leaders to tackle the debt crisis with more urgency but said there is little finance officials can do with monetary policy to ease the strain.

He also expressed concerns that the recent riots in Britain could dissuade the government there from moving forward with a series of announced austerity measures.

Zoellick is in Australia for an official visit and is scheduled to meet with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other top officials.

He said Australia's close ties with many growing East Asian and Pacific economies should help the country's economy in the short term.