first_imgJulia Gillard says comparisons between the Greek economy and Australia’s are “absurd”, and has lashed out at Tony Abbott for endorsing them. The former head of the Future Fund and the Commonwealth Bank, David Murray, believes it is “easily possible” for Australia to suffer an economic downturn similar in magnitude to the one experienced by Greece. He told ABC 1’s 7:30 that Australia’s net foreign debt is too high and the country’s productivity levels are too low. The Opposition Leader described the comments as a “timely warning” from someone well placed to consider Australia’s economic performance in comparison to the rest of the world. “The lesson of Europe is that countries can go very quickly from a strong position to a parlous position if things aren’t well managed,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Melbourne. “At the moment, we’ve got a Government which has completely mishandled the mining sector which is the one sector which above all else has kept Australia going. “With its endless taxes, this Government is putting the economic future of our country at risk.” But the Prime Minister has slammed the comments, arguing that they have the potential to undermine the confidence of financial markets in Australia’s future. “It is absurd to be saying that our economy is in the same circumstances as the economies of Europe or Greece,” Ms Gillard said in Tasmania. “From the Leader of the Opposition, that’s a grossly irresponsible thing to say. “I mean, markets listen to what political leaders say, this can have repercussions in the real world that matter for the Australian economy. “Our economy is growing – it’s going to grow at around 3 per cent this year, we’ve got unemployment just over 5 per cent, we’ve got low inflation, low interest rates, strong public finances – AAA-rated by every major credit agency for the first time in our nation’s history,” she said. The national political debate has refocused on the economy, after being diverted for the past few days by controversial comments made by Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones about Ms Gillard’s late father. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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