» Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Asked whether the PM and Obama discussed anything concrete on the Euro during their phone conversation, the Prime Minister’s Spokeswoman (PMS) said they discussed general issues regarding the Eurozone following up from G8 and looking ahead to the G20. Asked whether, if they talked about an ‘immediate plan’, that suggests there is a new plan on the table, the PMS said there are some immediate issues in the Eurozone that need to be sorted and that has been said all along. The PM has discussed at length what he thinks those issues are and how they should be addressed. Asked what are the immediate issues for the Eurozone are, she said if you look back to what he’s been saying all along, Europe must take the necessary steps to underpin a successful and stable Eurozone. This means they must build an effective firewall; ensure their banks are well capitalised; create fiscal burden sharing and active supportive monetary policy across the Eurozone. When it was put to her that these issues have been immediate for the last year or so and the use of the word immediate suggests something new, the PMS said the issues still need to be sorted out and our views haven’t changed on that. Discussions are ongoing but the PM has been clear about what’s really required. Asked whether the long term concerns of the PM are now becoming immediate and why, the PMS said the PM has always been very clear that the Eurozone needs to act decisively and put in place robust contingencies. In terms of what needs to be done to underpin the Eurozone, he’s been clear from the outset what those issues are.

Asked if the PM is going to use his meeting with Merkel tomorrow to stress urgency, the PMS said all leaders in the Eurozone understand the urgency and need for confidence in the markets. She said she would not speculate on what discussions will be. Asked whether it is the PM’s view that he would like to see a routemap of his Manchester speech agreed for the G20 and European leaders to agree it at the next summit, she said clearly Eurozone issues are for Eurozone leaders to decide. The PM has clearly set out his views as whatever happens there has an impact on Britain. We want to protect our interests and ensure the single market is completed. She said she would not predict what will go on in various meetings but clearly Eurozone issues are for Eurozone leaders; the PM has set out what his views are and no doubt the Eurozone will be discussed at the G20; and that’s what was touched on during phone call with Obama. Asked whether President Obama was in agreement with the PM that these steps do need to be taken to save/strengthen the Eurozone, the PMS said the PM’s view has always been that decisive action needs to be taken in order to underpin the Eurozone. Asked whether he is satisfied that decisive action is being taken, he said clearly the Eurozone has taken some steps to taken some steps to get its house in order but more needs to be done, and the PM has set out what needs to be done.

Asked about the PM’s view of the immediate issue right now on whether Spanish banks can access the bailout fund without going through the state, the PMS answered we’re not part of the bailout and that’s really a matter for Eurozone leaders. Asked whether he will be talking to Merkel about this, she said clearly they will be talking about Eurozone issues but she is not going to try and predict what they will talk about. Asked for No10′s reaction to Michel Barnier’s comments about taxpayers not funding bank bailouts and that banks should pay for banks, she said the PM supports the ideas of structural reform, and referred to the PM’s views on the Eurozone.

Asked whether the issue of Spain was discussed with Obama, she said Eurozone issues were discussed.

Asked whether the PM hopes the downgrading of the credit rating of German banks will persuade Merkel that Germany is not above the crisis, she said Eurozone is a matter for Eurozone leaders, and decisive action is required. Asked if it might add some flavour to the talks, she said she will not speculate about what he might say.

Asked if there are more meetings planned with the Governor of the Bank of England, the FSA or other contingency planning meetings, the PMS confirmed contingency planning continues, but she is not aware of any plans of any meetings with Bank of England in the immediate future. Asked whether the PM believes the German Chancellor is appraised of the need for an immediate plan, she reiterated what has been said, that steps need to be taken in order to restore confidence in the Eurozone and that’s why it’s being discussed and will be discussed in the coming days. She said she is not going to predict what is going to be discussed. Asked whether it can be assumed the PM will be outlining his Manchester speech to her, which included the issue of Eurobonds, she said again she will not speculate about what he might say, but confirmed Eurobonds were mentioned in the Manchester speech.

Asked about the European Commission’s plans, the PMS said the Government welcomes the announcement today and the proposals; the UK Government’s view is that it represents a positive step in tackling the issues of too big to fail’ in the banking sector and WE will work constructively with stakeholders. Asked whether the Government agrees with the pace, she said we back the idea of structural reform but this doesn’t take the place of needing to deal with issues facing the Eurozone now.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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