'No reason' for Britain to join Greece rescue: Cameron

21st June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday said Britain had no duty to contribute to any possible Greek bailout and vowed to "fight very hard" to defend his stance at this week's European Council meeting.

The leader maintained there was "absolutely no reason" for Britain to become involved in the likely rescue plan, but admitted uncertainty in the eurozone could damage the British economy during a speech at The Times' CEO summit.

The Conservative party head told the newspaper summit he "absolutely didn't believe" Britain would contribute to a bailout, and added "I shall be fighting very hard to achieve that at the European Council this week.

"The first Greek bailout was done by eurozone members and I see absolutely no reason why Britain should be dragged in through European financial mechanisms or other mechanisms to support a subsequent Greek bailout," said Cameron.

"We are not in the euro, we chose not to join the euro and so I don't think we share responsibility for this," he added.

Cameron agreed that Britain would contribute to any rescue fund through the International Monetary Fund and hoped the eurozone would "sort out its issues and its problems", highlighting that 40 percent of British exports went to the bloc.

European leaders are to meet on Thursday and Friday where a bailout for Greece, whose debts stand at 350 billion euros, will be top of the agenda.

The IMF has told Greece to implement further austerity measures before it will release the latest tranche of a 110-billion-euro ($156 billion) EU-IMF loan package agreed last year.

Despite not being a eurozone member, Britain offered a bilateral loan to its neighbour and eurozone-member Ireland when it was bailed out last year.

© 2011 AFP

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