OECD criticizes U.S. debt deal, sees no real solution

Reuters
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington
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U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the end of the U.S. government shutdown in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, October 17, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - A deal averting the risk of default in the United States this week does not offer a real solution to problems posed by U.S. disputes over debt, the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said on Friday.

Global markets were on tenterhooks earlier this month awaiting the outcome of a standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress over funding for President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law known as Obamacare.

The last minute accord on Wednesday staved off the threat of potential default, but only funds the government until January 15 and raises the debt ceiling until February 7, so Americans face the possibility of another bitter budget fight early next year.

"We're all going to have a very difficult December, a very difficult January, and a difficult February," Jose Angel Gurria, secretary general of the OECD, told reporters in Panama City.

"Because there were really no solutions...there was no far-reaching decision," said Gurria, an ex-Mexican finance minister.

Frank de Lima, the finance minister of Panama, which uses the U.S. dollar, said he agreed with Gurria, and that Congress had only succeeded in "kick(ing) the can forward."

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper, Lomi Kriel and Anahi Rama; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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