Davos summit: UK leaders hit out at Germany and France
27 January 2012
“Cameron attacks Eurozone,” headlines the Financial Times, after the British PM has delivered what the London daily terms “a firm rebuke” to Germany at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Calling on Berlin to contribute more resources and guarantees to help solve the eurozone crisis, Cameron was particularly blunt about the introduction of a financial transaction tax – an initiative he described as “quite simply madness”.
His speech, the Financial Times continues –
…reflected British officials’ long-standing and deep frustration with Germany’s leadership of the single currency area and called for a much stronger firewall to prevent contagion within the eurozone, common European sovereign debt and for powerful countries committing to reduce their trade surpluses as much as the struggling countries seek to minimise their deficits.
In the meantime, notes The Times, the PM is also caught up in a “new round of cross-channel tensions” with France.
Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson fear that French socialist François Hollande, tipped to win power in the May presidential elections, could “scupper the EU’s economic rescue plan and undermine the City,” writes The Times.
In a sixty-point manifesto published on January 26, Hollande “promised to rip up the EU’s fiscal treaty, which is due to be approved on Monday,” the London daily notes. He also made the financial industry –
… his main target, with promises of a 15 per cent increase in taxes on bank profits, the banning of trading in “toxic” financial instruments, a ban on stock options, caps on bonuses and a swift tax on “all financial transactions”.
The Mayor of London accused Hollande of “short-term political vindictiveness.”