Eurozone must unite and act swiftly: Osborne

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British finance minister George Osborne Monday urged eurozone nations to move quickly to ease fears over the debt crisis as the world's top finance officials prepared for crisis talks.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Osborne said European nations needed to "demonstrate beyond doubt that they have credible plans."

Osborne has initiated a programme of swingeing cuts in Britain -- which is battling to rein in a record deficit of its own -- and advised indebted nations to learn "an invaluable lesson" from Britain's example.

"It is possible to earn credibility and get ahead of the markets through decisive action," he said.

The European Central Bank said Sunday that it would "actively" renew eurozone bond purchases after Italy and Spain announced new measures and reforms to bolster their economies.

The ECB governing council welcomed additional steps by Rome and Madrid and said it considered their "decisive and swift implementation by both governments as essential in order to substantially enhance the competitiveness and flexibility of their economies, and to rapidly reduce public deficits."

Osborne also called for joint action to stabilise the eurozone, Britain's largest trading partner.

"By its nature a global crisis cannot be solved by countries acting alone," he said and told eurozone institutions "to do whatever is necessary to ensure financial stability."

Fears of a global meltdown, which some see as potentially worse than the collapse in late 2008, sent vacationing European leaders into a flurry of phone calls Sunday between Berlin, London, Paris and Washington.

Officials from the G7 nations -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- also confirmed the need for ministerial talks on market stability, Japan's Kyodo News agency said, quoting unnamed sources.

© 2011 AFP

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