Gordon Brown to attend crisis talks over Greece
Gordon Brown will attend crisis talks in Brussels this week as the eurozone faces a crisis over the spiralling debt Greece and other countries have built up.
By Andrew Porter, Political Editor
Published: 10:00PM GMT 07 Feb 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown is hoping that the economy's emergence from recession will translate into a lift in the opinion polls
The Prime Minister will preach a “tough love” message for Greece and along with the other major leaders will urge the country to slash its spending over the next three years.
They will be presented with an agreed plan which will demand that the deficit has to be cut from 13 per cent to 2 per cent by 2013.
That will mean large scale cuts in spending and a new drive to take on the public sector unions that many hold responsible for many of the country’s problems. The unions are planning to strike over the level of cuts planned.
If the problem is not tackled the International Monetary Fund could be called in to bail out the stricken economy.
The crisis is the most worrying the eurozone has faced in its 11-year life. There are fears that Spain and Portugal could be the next countries to be hit.
Last week George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, Britain could face the same problems if the Treasury did not act quicker to address Britain’s record £178 billion deficit. Lord Mandelson accused the Conservatives of being “unpatriotic” and talking Britain down.
Finance ministers sought to reassure investors at the weekend that the problems in southern Europe can be contained, ahead of debt and equity markets reopening this morning.
Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, said that Europe had to show more leadership to reassure markets.
“Heads of government need to set the direction and pace and the Commission needs to be a much more active implementing body that we’ve seen in recent months,” he said.