Friday 23 February 2018

Whitehall frustrated at inability to help solve eurozone crisis

Nicholas Leonard

There is a grim mood of fear and frustration in Whitehall at the worsening eurozone crisis: fear because of its impact on the global economy and frustration because the British government has no power to take decisions to try to solve it.

Three years ago Alastair Darling played a key role in saving the biggest banks in Britain when one of them, RBS, was within a couple of hours of defaulting on its debts. Darling said yesterday that the situation now is more serious than it was three years ago and it is "only a matter of time" before Greece defaults. "It is imperative the eurozone countries take action now and not let it drag on for the next few weeks because the risk is it will bring down other countries with it."

Ironically, the eurozone crisis is helping the prime minister, David Cameron, to underpin his position within his own party. Eurosceptics were delighted by his unprecedented decision last week to link up with Canada, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia and Mexico to send a letter to the eurozone governments urging swift action.

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