Colombian president warns U.S., Europe to shape up

Colombian pres. fears another recession
Colombian pres. fears another recession


    Colombian pres. fears another recession


Colombian pres. fears another recession 05:02

Story highlights

  • President Santos sees an "economic hurricane" sweeping the industrialized world
  • "Your disorder is affecting us," he tells Europe and the United States
  • Printing money and using creative monetary policy is not the answer, he says
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has a message for Europe and the United States: "Put your house in order."
In an interview with CNN's Richard Quest, the Colombian president, who took office in August of last year, said he sees an "economic hurricane" sweeping the industrialized world.
His warnings are not just empty talk. The South American country's economy is expected to grow 5.5 percent this year. It is among the group of countries financial analysts call the "CIVETS": Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa).
As HSBC CEO Michael Geoghegan described them in a speech in London last year, these countries have a "large, young, growing population. Each has a diverse and dynamic economy. And each, in relative terms, is politically stable." A civet is also a small, nocturnal mammal with a long body and short legs that is native to the tropical forests of Asia and Africa.
Asked by Quest what advice Santos would give to the United States and Europe, Santos said now is the time to act decisively.
"We're saying what they told us 10 years ago," Santos said. "Put your house in order; because your disorder is affecting us. Take the decisions that are necessary. Have the political will and the political capacity to make unpopular decisions that are necessary because you're going to affect the whole world if you continue with this uncertainty."
Santos also warned that the United States and Europe cannot get out of trouble by printing money and using creative monetary policy. "That money will not stay (in their countries) because it will go after a better return (somewhere else)," he said.
Santos also said that another global financial crisis would erase the growth achieved by countries such as his in the past decade.
The interview aired Wednesday on the show "Quest Means Business," which appears on CNN International.