Britain’s Cameron Presses Europe to Resolve Debt Crisis

Posted May 17th, 2012 at 10:00 am (UTC-5)
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British Prime Minister David Cameron is pressing European leaders to resolve the continent's governmental debt crisis, warning the fate of the 17-nation euro currency union is at stake.

During a speech in Manchester, Mr. Cameron told business leaders that with political uncertainty in Greece and many Europeans predicting Athens will leave the eurozone, the survival of the euro is “in question.”

Britain has maintained its own currency, the pound, but with its biggest trading partners elsewhere in Europe the British economy is closely linked to the stability of the euro.

The British leader said the currency bloc needs an economic structure that includes an effective rescue fund for economically troubled countries, well-funded banks and cooperative economic policies.

Mr. Cameron said that aside from the immediate concerns about Greece, Europe suffers from “overall low productivity and lack of economic dynamism.” He said most European countries “are becoming less competitive compared to the rest of the world, not more.”

The fallout from debt-ridden Greece's turmoil is casting a shadow on the finances of other eurozone nations. Spain, with the currency bloc's fourth-largest economy, was forced to pay sharply higher interest rates on $3 billion in new borrowing compared to recent bond sales.

Greece's fractious political parties were unable to reach agreement on a coalition government after a splintered vote in May 6 parliamentary elections. A caretaker government was sworn in Thursday and new elections have been scheduled for June 17.