Bloomberg News

Clegg Cautions U.K. Against Triumphalism Over Europe’s Debt Woes

July 08, 2011

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urged Britain not to indulge in triumphalism over the euro area’s debt crisis and said all countries should pursue policies to spur growth.

“The U.K. should not see ourselves as spectators, watching from the wings, triumphalist, complacent, as if Europe’s economic woes are a euro-zone problem, rather than a problem for all of us,” Clegg will say in a speech in Paris today, according to extracts released by his office. “As if it is enough to put your own house in order, but then stand by and let the neighborhood crumble.”

Europe’s debt plight comes as Britain’s export-driven recovery shows signs of waning, with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research saying yesterday the economy probably grew just 0.1 percent between April and June after stagnating over the previous two quarters.

European finance ministers earlier this month authorized an 8.7 billion-euro ($12 billion) loan payout to Greece in an attempt to avert the region’s first sovereign default. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have both indicated they would cut Greece to default if leaders went ahead with a plan to ask creditors to roll over expiring Greek bonds into new debt.

“Events both inside and outside of the eurozone have demonstrated the irrefutable need for all European states to pursue deep-seated economic reform, individually and together, because without it there will be no lasting success,” Clegg will say.

--Editors: Andrew Atkinson, Eddie Buckle

To contact the reporter on this story: Gonzalo Vina in London at gvina@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net


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