PM Insists Eurozone Needs 'Decisive Action'
David Cameron has insisted that "decisive action" is needed for eurozone stability on a conference call with fellow European leaders to discuss the Greek crisis.
The Prime Minister spoke to German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande and Italian prime minister Mario Monti for around 45 minutes on the video call.
It gave the leaders a chance to prepare for the G8 summit at Camp David this weekend and discuss the eurozone crisis together for the first time.
A Downing Street spokeswoman described it as a "constructive discussion" about some of the world's wealthiest nations' priorities.
"He discussed with the others their priorities for G8: the eurozone - including Greece, growth and the importance of expanding trade relations between the US and the EU.
"The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of Greece and the Eurozone taking decisive action to ensure financial stability and prevent contagion," she said.
The call took place just before Greece's economy was dealt a further blow by Fitch ratings agency, which downgraded its credit rating.
The agency said it reduced Greece from B-minus to CCC because it was worried by its failure to form a coalition government and the possibility it could leave the eurozone.
Earlier, Mr Cameron warned political leaders they were running out of time to solve the crisis at a speech in Manchester.
Addressing business leaders, the Prime Minister declared that the single currency is at a "crossroads".
Reinforcing his message to MPs on Wednesday, Mr Cameron said: "It either has to make up or it is looking at a potential break up.
"Either Europe has a committed, stable, successful eurozone with an effective firewall, well capitalised and regulated banks, a system of fiscal burden sharing, and supportive monetary policy across the eurozone or we are in unchartered territory which carries huge risks for everybody."
The Prime Minister made clear Britain faces "perilous economic times" and vowed to do everything in his power to keep the country safe amid the ongoing uncertainty.
But he rejected demands to ditch the drastic austerity measures adopted by the coalition, saying it is time to "stand firm" and ignore the "dangerous voices calling on us to retreat".
Mr Cameron said that it is in Britain's interest for the eurozone to sort out its problems, but promised to work to protect Britain and secure its economy and financial system whatever happens.
Only days after the UK economy slipped into a double dip recession, he admitted: "We are living in perilous economic times.
"Turn on the TV news and you see the return of a crisis that never really went away: Greece on the brink...the survival of the Euro in question. Faced with this, I have a clear task: to keep Britain safe.
"Not to take the easy course - but the right course. Not to dodge responsibility for dealing with a debt crisis but to lead our country through this to better times."
Insisting this could be done, he said: "We are well on the way in this journey. Since we took office two years ago, we have cut the last government's deficit by more than a quarter. Yesterday, we had encouraging news on unemployment, too."
Now more than ever, Mr Cameron insisted, is the time for the coalition to hold its ground and reject Labour's alternative.
"Let me be clear: we are moving in the right direction - not rushing the task, but judging it carefully and that is why we must resist dangerous voices calling on us to retreat," he said.
"Yes, we are doing everything we can to return this country to strong, stable economic growth. But no, we will not do that by returning to the something for nothing economics that got us into this mess."
The Prime Minister added: "We cannot blow the budget on more spending and more debt. It would squander all the progress we've made in these last two, tough years.
"It would mean more austerity, for even longer. It would risk our future. It is not an alternative policy, it is a cop-out."
Labour leader Ed Miliband told Sky News: "David Cameron isn't part of the solution, he is part of the problem. He promised Britain there would be recovery and he has delivered a recession.
"Sorting it out means not just sorting out the eurozone problems, but getting that proper plan for growth in Europe, just like we need a proper plan for growth here in Britain," he said.
He added: "Even though we have got a recession made in Downing Street, he is refusing to change."
But Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "We have to be focused very very clearly on growth and jobs but we also have to be financially disciplined. These things are not alternatives, the two things go together."
what do you think?
the gravy train is running thin
as far as i can make out the idiots that are cameron ,osbourn. and the reas of his flock are hell bent on making a namr for themselves wether it be famous or indeed infamous they want to be remembered in the history books.they see themselves in the same vein as the most hated political leader of the 20th century thatcher. well congratulations are indeed in order because after only 2 years in office they have already managed to become more hated . god knows what level of unpopularity they will acieve if they manage another term in office,which i am pleased to say looks more and more unlikely day by day
It never ceases to amaze me that people describe Margaret Thatcher as "the most hated political leader of the 20th Century". Given the fact that she won three General Elections, someone must have been voting for her............
They've got a battle on their hands then. I talk to various people from all around the world and they ALL hate their politico's.
well gordon you obviously dont live in the north east or know any miners i take it
When the impending financial crash has run its course and millions have lost all their savings and amongst inimaginable hardships, Thatcher will be looked upon as the finest peacetime PM we ever had
Yes Gordon, Tony Blair also won three General Elections, but he was still a very divisive figure. Margaret Thatcher was even more so!
I agree Cameron and Osborne are idiots and I hate them for their arrogance and incompetence all the more for the fact that I am a Tory. Thatcher was our best peace-time PM this century.
Peace-time, Russell & David? I don't recall much peace while the 'Witch of Westminster' was Prime Minister! Maggot Thatcher must be the most hated and loathed Prime Minister of the 20th century. You're definately looking at the past through Tory-blue coloured spectacles!
Make up or break up? Break up a thousand times over!
Flashman strikes again!
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What Cameron and Osborne won't own up to is that they have been wasting our money by propping up the Euro against the inevitable crash. We have to suffer cuts at home, see our armed forces reduced to a dangerous level, and yet we splash out a ring-fenced GBP 9bn on overseas aid, our massive net contributiobs to the EU and on top of it, we put aside tens of millions to prop up the Euro, even though we are not part of it and it has been manipulated by Paris, Brussels and Berlin to extend their powers over as much of Europe as possible. Cameron and Osborne should be quietly preparing for when the whole thing collapses, or better still, be pressing to allow the weaker members of the Eurozone to leave with dignity and hope, especially hope.
Was only a very small amount really and Britain is expected to live up to its obligations as one af the worlds largest economies. If any government here refused that then all sorts of dominoes fall. Britain received help in the past. Britain has a good record at paying off loans.
We've already put 10 billion in the IMF that looks like its going to be lost. Osbourne and Cameron the modern day Laurel and Hardy, and if you want to include Clegg then its the three stooges. Oh well thats off my chest - back to my third world existance as an OAP sitting here in Gods waiting room wondering how much poorer these people can make me.
should have put more in your pension fund mate.
Useful divertion from Cameron actually doing something like managing this country
Thatcher WAS the most hated PM. Her government's policies destroyed our manufacturing industry and put into place the most anti-democratic anti-union laws. She was also instrumental in deregulating financial rules, continued by New Labour, that led to the disastrous state we find ourselves in now. The reason she won three elections was there was no viable political opposition. The Labour Party led by Kinnock was too busy turning itself into the pale pink Tory Party, another process continued and completed by Blair and Co. That's why we need a new socialist party based on the unions to represent our views instead of the tweedle dee-tweedle dum parties who defend the rich.
When Thatcher came into power our debt was 250 billion. within 3 years we were in credit by 100 billion and after 8 years our credit was 850 billion. and at 13 years our credit was 1.6 trillion. Labour then reduced it to zero less 300 billion. So Labour was bad, but now Osbourne will increase our debt by 2015 to about 7 trillion. We need a UKIP party to totally improve the finance. Socialists are horrific
I think you will find thatcher only achieved those numbers you quote by selling off the family silver and robbing the people of this country hand over fist.
Jonathon, Total rubbish. We have had a (positive) Nationbal Debt every year since 1692. We have never paid it off and never " been in credit ". In 1997 it was 42% of GDP and rising. In 2008 under Labour it was 36%. It was the Global Crisis that sent it up since then, as it did in the US, ands all of Europe. No Party, Tory, UKIP or Monster Raving could have done anything about that
A socialist party based on unions? God help us.
I think youll find that amongst the people of the south Thatcher barely warrants a mention these days. Its brown thats blamed for this mess.
So the Eurozone is going broke but our defecit is higher than all of theirs put together. In fact by 2015 our debt will be the highest in the world. In 2010 our debt was 820 trillion and now Osbourne has borrowed 400 trillion which is half of what labour did over 13 years. In the USA their debt in 2008 was 8.5 trillion but it is down to 4.1 trillion and by the end of this year it will be 1 trillion. He is now thinking of putting in a further 125 billion for the Euro and to increase our fuel taxes by 50%. This will completely destroy this country.
don't think you know you're trillions from your billions
i think you need some help with your numbers 400 trillion.hahahahahaaa !
so you can tell the future then
Have I heard correctly that Calamity Cameron said "we do not want to hurt the progress we have made in the last two years" what progress record unemployment, a flatlining economy, high inflation, ruined the NHS, set the private sector against the public sector, high borrowing etc. Calamity beleieves in the bury your head in the sand policy when running the country
the private sector has been against the spoilt public sector for a long time, nothing to do with camaron. Its not record unemployment at the moment. Inflation has been a lot higher than it is. the NHS is far from ruined. It was brown and balls who had their heads buried in the sand when they failed to fix the roof when the sun was shining. My god, its ever so easy for you to turn things round in your head isnt it.
i am sure that the other countries will take scamerons warning on board .................after they have finished wetting themselves laughing !! People in glass houses Dave ! ......etc ha ha .What a turkey.
I agree with Cameron (shudder),decisive action is needed; may I suggest a bullet in the back of the head, then the eurozone will be put out of its misery. Then we can start with the bankers who caused it in the first place.
I see camoron wants the european banks to be regulated. This from a man who will not lift a finger to control our banks. Is that whats best for this country. LOL Dave