U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama called for an immediate plan to resolve the euro-region debt crisis, adding to pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to ease the way to a deal.
Cameron travels to Berlin tomorrow for talks with the German leader as Spain pushes for European money to rescue its banks. The demand for action comes less than two weeks before Group of 20 leaders meet in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Obama and Cameron, who spoke by phone yesterday, “agreed on the need for an immediate plan to tackle the crisis and to restore market confidence as well as the need for a longer-term strategy to ensure a stable single currency,” the prime minister’s spokeswoman, Vickie Sheriff, told reporters in London today.
Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti also spoke with Obama in separate calls today, the White House said.
Merkel hardened her opposition to joint debt sharing in the euro region in a speech June 2 after Obama singled out Europe’s leaders for not doing enough to arrest the financial crisis. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called on European institutions yesterday to help overcome Spain’s difficulties with liquidity.
Merkel, the head of Europe’s largest economy and the largest contributor to bailouts for Greece, Portugal and Ireland, is the pivotal player in efforts to resolve the crisis, now in its third year.
As Spain struggles to avoid becoming the next country to call for a rescue, the pressure from Cameron and Obama adds to that on Merkel from the European Central Bank, France and Italy to do more to halt the spread of contagion.
In Obama’s conversations with Merkel and Monti, the leaders talked about the importance of strengthening “resilience of the euro zone” and boosting growth in Europe and globally, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters traveling with the U.S. president to a political fundraiser in California.
Monti’s office said in a statement that the two men agreed on the need for stronger action to tame the debt crisis.
Cameron’s spokeswoman gave no details on what sort of steps the premier and Obama thought euro-region leaders should take to solve the three year crisis. She said only that “euro-zone issues were discussed” on the call when asked whether Spain had had been a topic.
Merkel and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble are urging Rajoy to accept an international bailout as Spain can’t solve its banking woes alone, the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported this week, without citing a source for the information.
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