Sunday, 27 May 2012


Nick Clegg has warned that the foundations of the eurozone are "weaker than anyone could have predicted" (as he continued to gaze into his crystal ball*), as he urged Greece to stay in the euro and stick with its austerity programme.


It comes as Business Secretary Vince Cable insisted the UK's double-dip recession meant it can't "lecture" countries on how to run their economies.

In a veiled attack on Greece, Mr Clegg told The Andrew Marr Show: "The eurozone rules, as they were formed, have not been stuck to. Its foundations are weaker than anyone could have predicted."

Greece will hold another election on June 17 after a May 6 vote left parliament divided evenly between groups of parties that support and oppose the austerity conditions attached to a €130bn bailout agreed with the European Union and International Monetary Fund in March.

Anti-bailout party Syriza is reportedly the favourite to win the fresh elections, raising questions whether the debt-stricken country - whose economy shrank 6.2pc in the first quarter of 2012 - can remain in the single currency.

Greece's To Vima newspaper claimed that former prime minister Lucas Papademos sais his country will run of money by the end of next month.

Mr Clegg maintained that, on its own, Greece is not a problem, but the knock-on effect of a euro exit would cause an "unravelling" that would be "impossible to predict".

However, he hoped this would not happen: "The Greek people have to decide what their future is. We hope they decide to stay in the euro. If they want to stay, they have to abide by the [bailout] package they agreed to."

The view was echoed by Germany's deputy finance minister on Sunday. “We are hopeful when they have elections on June 17 the situation will emotionally calm down,” Steffen Kampeter said. “But I don’t see any alternative but to go on with reforms, stabilizing the public budget, and investing in future growth in Greece.”

Last week Bank of America Merrill Lynch warned that the fallout from a Greek exit from the EMU would cause UK GDP to shrink 2pc, forcing the Bank of England to restart its quantitative easing programme to the tune of £200bn.

The bank's prediction came shortly after first-quarter GDP was revised down to -0.3pc, deepening the UK's double-dip recession.

"A strong eurozone is good for us," Mr Clegg told the BBC programme on Sunday. "But what [the Coalition] has done [with austerity measures] means the UK now has breathing space to switch up a gear, do our bit to support demand. We need to be resolute on public finances and help damaged banks restore their balance sheets."

He added that eurobonds, the system promoted by France but rejected by Germany in which countries pool their debt, "can only be part of the bargain", saying economic reforms are also needed.

Mr Clegg also maintained that there is "no question of the UK joining the euro [at this time]".

The interview came after the Business Secretary told ministers to show "humility" when dealing with their eurozone counterparts. Speaking at the end of a trade visit to Germany, Mr Cable said that hectoring from across the Channel is "badly received and not appropriate".

He told The Independent on Sunday: "It is quite legitimate to point out that, although we are not in the eurozone, we are affected by it, and therefore can reasonably have a view. But I think any sense that Britain is lecturing is badly received and is not appropriate.

"I certainly approached my visit [to Germany] with some humility, because they are a very successful country and we have got to learn from them. Our credibility rests on how well we do with our economy."


The truth is their for all to see except for the blind the ignorant the loonys and the THICK.

Cleggy still thinks that the EURO is the way to go.

Never mind that it's destroying countries one by one, with the first to go being Greece, yet the THICK C**T still wants Greece to stay in with the Euro and the EU when they haven't got two Drachmas to rub together.

This is proof positive that Cleggy should be consigned to a padded cell and straight jacket, crayons provided at the patients request.

With our country still nosediving into the pits of depression we could actually start to make a few bob here.

Bring back the Victorian past time of Let's go and watch the loonys at the asylum.

Cleggy and friends would provide hours of cheap, but profitable, entertainment.

We could even have free passess for the unemployed, just so that when they realize they are not in as bad a condition or position as Cleggy and friends, can go home feeling better about themselves.

Oh when do we put an end to our ENEMIES like Cleggy ?

* That was not in the real headline but added by me for effect.