Osborne: 'Real progress' in avoiding eurozone crisis

 

George Osborne last night claimed "real progress" had been made in avoiding economic crisis in the eurozone after 10 hours of talks with EU finance ministers.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer said "important decisions" were being made to "strengthen European banks", including a programme of recapitalisation of the banks which could soar to €100bn (£87bn). "Britain will keep up pressure in the next few days for a comprehensive package to resolve the European crisis and to make sure that we get jobs and growth," Mr Osborne said.

Talks continue on a massive increase in eurozone bail-out funds and a planned 50-60 per cent writedown of Greek debt to ease the country's problems.

The UK Treasury is increasingly anxious that the talks reach a long-term solution, ending the "sticking plaster" proposals put forward in recent months. David Cameron is still expected to attend an emergency European leaders' summit on Wednesday, where the €440bn (£383bn) bail-out fund could be dramatically increased to €2 trillion (£1.74 trillion).

As a result, the Prime Minister could be forced to pull out of this week's major Commonwealth summit, The Independent on Sunday understands. Mr Cameron is due to fly to New Zealand and Australia on Wednesday, but he could be required to be in Brussels that day, government officials said.

The disclosure came as the head of the Institute of International Finance, which has been leading negotiations on easing Greece's debt, yesterday said eurozone countries and private-sector figures were "nowhere near a deal". In July, banks agreed to accept 21 per cent losses on Greek bonds.

Labour leader Ed Miliband yesterday criticised the Prime Minister for not insisting on attending Wednesday's meeting, even if it is officially restricted to eurozone leaders only.

Mr Miliband said Mr Cameron should be "banging on the door to maintain British influence" over Europe's future. However, as Britain is not a member of the euro, Mr Cameron would not be invited to the talks among 17 leaders of eurozone countries.

But No 10 sources indicated that the PM would go to Brussels if there was a full EU summit, shelving the long-scheduled trip to New Zealand and Australia. He is due to visit Christchurch, before travelling to Australia for the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. A visit to Japan has already been dropped so he can vote on a Commons motion proposing a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review