Bloomberg News

Cameron Says Greek Voters Face Choice on Staying in Euro

May 20, 2012

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said a Greek vote that rejects the terms of the country’s bailout will send a message that the country is exiting the euro currency.

“We now have to send a very clear message to people in Greece,” Cameron told reporters in Chicago, where he’s attending a NATO summit. “You can either vote to stay in the euro, with all the commitments you’ve made, or, if you vote another way, you’re effectively voting to leave.”

The comments are the strongest yet by Cameron on the possibility of a break-up of the single currency. He spent the Group of Eight leaders’ summit at Camp David urging fellow European leaders to do more to protect the euro. Today, he denied the meeting had been a failure, saying it had “helped to crystallize the thinking.”

There’s no mechanism for a country to leave the euro, and a Greek exit would increase market pressure on other European countries deemed to be vulnerable. The yield on a benchmark Spanish 10-year government bond closed at 6.2 percent at the close on Friday, close to a five-month high.

Asked if leaders were simply putting off decisions, Cameron said the Greek vote next month was going to force the issue.

“That is going to focus minds and focus decisions,” Cameron said. “The crucial thing is that euro-zone leaders have got to put in place contingency plans for both of those eventualities, really clear plans to keep our economies safe and stable. I will do everything in the U.K. to make sure we’re in that situation too.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in Chicago at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

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


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