George Osborne's Greece-euro view is 'shared', says Downing Street

 

Chancellor George Osborne was speaking for the Government when he
raised questions yesterday about continued Greek membership of the
euro, Downing Street said today.

Mr Osborne told a business conference he did not know whether Greek exit was needed in order to persuade Germany that it must sign up to measures to secure the survival of the single currency.

A Downing Street spokeswoman today said that Mr Osborne was expressing views which were "shared" within Government.

But she stressed neither the Chancellor nor Prime Minister David Cameron were predicting Greece's departure from the euro, pointing out that Mr Osborne himself said he did not know whether this would happen.

The Chancellor's comments came just days before the June 17 re-run election in Greece, where the left-wing Syriza coalition is fighting on an anti-austerity platform which some observers believe could force the country out of the euro - something Syriza's leader Alexis Tsipras denies.

Speaking to the conference hosted by The Times in London yesterday, Mr Osborne said: "I ultimately don't know whether Greece needs to leave the euro in order for the eurozone to do the things necessary to make their currency survive.

"I just don't know whether the German government requires Greek exit to explain to their public why they need to do certain things like a banking union, eurobonds and things in common with that."

The Chancellor also said the handling of last weekend's 100 billion euro bailout for Spanish banks was "depressing" and "frustrating".

Asked today whether the PM shared Mr Osborne's views, a Downing Street spokeswoman said: "These are certainly difficult issues and the Chancellor was setting out views yesterday which are shared.

"It comes back to the basic point that the eurozone needs to stand behind its currency.

"The Chancellor represents the Government and, being Chancellor of the Exchequer, represents the Government's view."

Asked whether Mr Cameron thought Greek exit from the euro was now inevitable, she told a daily Westminster media briefing: "No, he is not predicting whether Greece will or won't go out of the eurozone.

"Nobody really knows what might happen, and that is the point the Chancellor was making yesterday.

"But what is really important is that the eurozone deals with eurozone issues."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before