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EU Must Shift Focus to Long Term: Economist Lazear

European leaders meeting this weekend must stop focusing on short-term problems and shift their focus to long-term solutions, economist Edward Lazear told CNBC Friday.

"My problem is the focus has been too narrow for my taste," said the Stanford University professor and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.

Fear of contagion from Greece to the rest of Europe is an important issue, he said. However, the EU hasn't "focused enough on the long term, the same mistake I believe [the U.S. has] made trying to get our recession past us and our recovery going.

Lazear added: "I’m concerned they will work most of the time on figuring out how the bailout structure will work, rather than thinking about the longer run, which is crucial to get those [European] economies going."

In the U.S., ''this quarter was clearly better than the previous two and the next quarter looks better as well," he said. There may be some "spillover" from Europe affecting the U.S. economy "but our problems are of own making and our recovery will be of our own making. If we are on the path to recovery…I don’t think that will be derailed by the European situation."