There are fears that the outcome of the Greek election could trigger further turmoil in financial markets. The popular far-left party Syriza has pledged to halt interest payments on the country’s debt and revoke the terms of its bailout.
Mr Blair praised Chancellor Angela Merkel for her “courage” and “steadfastness” during the crisis , but Germany now had to make “an unequivocal commitment to stand behind the single currency” and be ready to inflate its economy. In return, the rest of Europe had to give credible commitments to rein in deficits.
He added that the euro would survive in some form even if the present 17-member set-up collapsed. The euro was central to Europe’s ambitions to be a power on the world stage: “I have no doubt that the single currency makes sense.”
Mr Blair steered clear of directly endorsing a Europe-wide banking union, as proposed by José Manuel Barroso, European commission president. But he made clear that Britain had to play an active role in negotiations on the next phase of European integration, even though he refused to say whether this would involve a referendum.Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page