As the curtain fell on Silvio Berlusconi’s premiership, the Chancellor said his EU counterparts were ‘terrified’ by the debt crisis which is dragging major eurozone economies down the same path as bankrupt Greece.
Former EU commissioner Mario Monti was parachuted in to run the Italian government yesterday, with a cabinet primarily made up of technocrats and academics rather than elected politicians, in an attempt to prevent the euro sliding further into the abyss.
Mr Osborne made clear the crisis will not be over until France too has answered doubts about its debts and the rising costs of borrowing on the markets which effectively ended Mr Berlusconi’s premiership.
In a warning to French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr Osborne said ‘the immediate crisis in hand’ was ‘dealing with the lack of confidence in Italy’ and ‘dealing with the questions that have been raised over countries like France’.
‘That is where all our efforts have been focused on at the moment,’ he said. ‘We’re not any more just talking about countries like Greece, we’re talking about big countries like Italy and France . . . having to take very, very difficult decisions.’ Read More