PM Warns Greece June Vote Is About Eurozone
The Prime Minister has warned Greece that its new round of elections must be a vote about staying in the eurozone.
David Cameron insisted failure to provide clarity at the ballot box on June 17 could prove disastrous for the world economy.
His message came as his Cabinet colleague Ken Clarke said the European banking system was already "in tatters".
Mr Clarke also warned that Britain was "heavily exposed" to potential problems and could be among the next targets for market speculation.
The warning from Mr Cameron comes while he is in America for back-to-back G8 and Nato summits, where talks with fellow world leaders have "crystallised" the problems.
"We now have to send a very clear message to (the Greek) people," Mr Cameron said.
"There is a choice, you can either vote to stay in the euro with all the commitments you have made, or, if you vote another way, you are effectively voting to leave.
"The crucial thing is that eurozone leaders have to put in place contingency plans for both of those eventualities - really clear plans to keep our economies safe and stable."
He added: "What I think would be bad for Greece, bad for Europe, bad for the world would be if we just allowed the can to be kicked down the road with an inconclusive outcome," he said.
"It has just got to try and make sure that this is a moment of clarity and decisiveness for the eurozone."
Mr Cameron indicated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel - who has driven the demands for austerity and fiscal discipline within the eurozone - had shown signs of a willingness to compromise.
"I think she did show some flexibility in terms of what more can be done on the growth agenda and also what more can be done to handle the risks inside the eurozone," he said.
"The fact that you have got countries like Japan, America, Canada round the table, as well as Britain, who are outside the eurozone but affected by what happens inside the eurozone, I think, was helpful in bringing that important pressure to bear."
Mr Merkel's softening approach comes after new French President Francois Hollande stood firm on his election promise of avoiding more austerity cuts in France.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also criticised the lack of leadership on the eurozone crisis, saying it risked a rise in extremism and civil unrest.
He said: "This cannot carry on, because the combination of economic insecurity and political paralysis, we know this from the history of our continent, is the ideal recipe for an increase in extremism and xenophobia.
"Some of the answers are under our nose. Some of the answers - about creating more jobs, more prosperity, more competitiveness by completing the single market - is something we should have done 20 years ago.
"It is unforgivable that European leaders still meet every few weeks and issue declarations about completing the energy market, energy liberalisation, completing services liberalisation; and they don't do it."
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Mr Clarke, a former chancellor, said that Greek voters had to "face up to reality".
"These are hardships inflicted on them by the irresponsibility of their former politicians," he said.
"But they cannot just vote for saying 'Could people just carry on giving us some money so we do not have to change anything.'"
Mr Clarke said the consequences would be "serious" if the Greek people elected "cranky extremists" and defaulted on their debts as a result.
"No-one knows exactly what will happen in the rest of Europe. But the banking system is in tatters. It is weak in very many places," he went on.
"We don't know what the knock on effects would be, they could be very serious and of course people will start barking at the door of Portugal, Ireland, Italy and here in Britain.
On Sunday, the shadow chancellor Ed Balls told Sky's Dermot Murnaghan that it would cause "huge damage" if Greece made a disorderly exit from the eurozone.
Mr Balls said: "Greece needs to stay in for at least as long as the eurozone needs to sort its act out - and I am afraid that is taking a very, very long time."
what do you think?
Stand your ground Greece and don't be bullied into voting to be part of this dictatorship. Leave the euro.
and to think Greece was the birth place of civilisation! A sorry state of affairs to be sure. Here's an idea to all Greeks.... Pay yourTaxes!!!
you might feed us b/s dave and get away with it but to the greeks your a nobody
we want a referendum on staying in too but our goverment will not allow it..but we still want one..if greece wants out then let them go...like us thay have had enough of greedy people..and so callled do gooders that cost.
Cameron's rhetoric becomes increasingly irrelevant, and it seems he's the only one who doesn't realise it. Of course the next Greek election will effectively be a referendum on whether they stay in the Eurozone, and already that has started to affect the polls over there, with the pro Euro Party's gaining support. Eventually we will have a referendum in the UK on whether we want to remain part of the EEC, and I suspect that will also make people think seriously about it, and eventually vote to stay as part of Europe.
The EEC was killed off years ago, if it was still a European Economic Community instaed of Federal Europe we woulodn't be having these problems.
I agree with Philip.
I too agree with Philip.
I say we need to rule the world again starting with south Africa! I know for a fact that's oil under that there sand :D.
It appears now that Sarkozy is gone, there is a vacancy at the right hand of Angela Merkel which Cameron is keen to fill. Churchill must be spinning in his grave. And Cameron's hypocracy is breathtaking in decreeing that Greece's new round of elections must be effectively a referendum on staying in the EC, while he is denying the people of the UK the same referendum which he promised us in order to get elected!
Well said. The man is unbelieveable.
Churchill actually proposed a union between France and GB. If De Gaul had run with the idea instead of the fore-runner of the EU we might all have been speaking French and our currency the franc. Vive la France!
Malcolm, Churchill may have proposed a union with France but not a takeover by them resulting in us speaking French and using the franc. I am sure the sight of Cameron grovelling to Merkel would have made Churchill's blood boil. But, come to think of it, there is a precedent. Perhaps Cameron should read the next chapter in that history.
Dear Mr Cameron, you seem to forget this country needs your attention. So if you don't mind can you bin this charade about Greece and turn your attention to us. We understand that it looks good you stating the obvious about them but what about us!!!!! Do we need this once great nation to go up in flames before you choose to notice us and focus your attention.
Trouble is that is easier to lecture the population of another country than to do anything positive for his own people.
It is not our place to start telling the Greeks what to do, just as other so-called 'world leaders' should not lecture us. The Euro created this problem because one-size doesn't fit every kind of economy, and the people who created the Euro did so to create a united Europe over the heads and behind the backs of the people. If Greece leaves the Euro in an orderly and planned manner, it will not be a disaster. People like Clarke treat the rest of us like idiots, talking down to us, but the Eurosceptics have been proven right again and again, and Clarke is a Eurofanatic, a dangerous fanatic because he is such a prominent Tory.
Damn right David
They lied to get into the euro club, then went on a spending spree and got their country into massive debt not realising that at some point they have to pay the money back. Now they are throwing the toys out. They want their cake and eat it. Its been like watching an 18 year old being taught a harsh financial lesson.
They did lie, but lets not forget that the Germans and their subservients knew it was a lie. They allowed Greece and other countries to rack up big deficits, because the euro was the best thing since sliced bread for the German economy. The rest of europe bailed out Germany after WW2, now its time for them to do the same for their european counterparts.
Why does Cameron try to tell Greece how to vote?he should keep his nose out of other countries affairs. He cannot run this country let alone tell others what to do,Who does he think he is ?will his next trick be to try to walk on water. Cameron is not even a third rate leader so come on Cameron keep your nose out.
Cameron, who can't run his own bath, is attempting to run someone else's.
Sceptics - remember this. Should the Euro collapse (which it will not anyway - but just so you can have your wet dream) the banks in London are massively exposed to the Euro zone. Therefore any collapse would be likely fatal for the City of London and the UK economy. Cameron, thankfully, knows this and will not be beholden to the snivelling sceptics who would rather bite their nose off to spite their face than support the Euro for the good of all Europeans. All of this attention on Greece is actually political rather than economic as Greece's economy is around 2% of the EU GDP - around the same as a single German state.
If the Euro cannot possibly collapse why then is the Bank of England drawing up contingency plans? And why are Cameron, William Hague et al suddenly criticising businesses for not seeking new markets? The EC may be the market for 40% of our exports at the minute but only a fool would bet on that continuing.
How long do you think it would take for the UK to divert its 40% trade with the EU to elsewhere? How many years and decades does it take to build up a 40% share? And what about competition from the rest of the world? That would obviously have an affect only any share. The Euro will not collapse- the Eurozone is solvent and has a trade credit with the rest of the world. The EU's GDP is larger than that of the US and twice that of China. There may be a restructuring - which for some Eurozone countries would actually be a benefit as it would make their economies more competitive - but the Euro is here to stay.
The one-size-fits-all concept of the Euro has proved to be inherently disasterous for the Eurozone and for that reason alone it will sooner or later cease to exist .Nationalism is gaining strength as the policical classes can no longer fool the electorates, the realities on the street are clear. Greece is the beginning and may soon be followed by Italy, Spain and France. The pressures are social and not only economic which makes the whole situation very volatile. The only course that makes any sense is to revert to a simple Common Market and dismantle the Eurostate.
Viv Hanshall - finally a voice of reason and intelligence amongst the financially ignorant and whiners and whiners in the UK
Cameron is acting as spokesman for the rest of western capitalism. The idea of a socialist party taking power fills them with dread because Greece will then join France and the growing call for pro-growth/anti-austerity which flies in the face of everything people like Cameron stands for.
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Our political masters never get the message.....