George Osborne last night came under intense pressure to contribute to the International Monetary Fund’s bailout fund for Europe amid increasing fears it will fall far short of its $500billion (£310billion) target.
The IMF’s French managing director Christine Lagarde claimed ‘it was in Britain’s interests’ to provide more resources.
The Chancellor finds himself in a difficult position because of the fierce opposition on the Tory backbenches and among the public to taxpayers’ money being used to rescue failing nations in the eurozone at a time of national austerity.
British officials made it clear in Washington last night that although Mr Osborne was committed in principle to contributing £10billion to the emergency fund it would only participate if there is a ‘global deal’.
So far, Miss Lagarde has received£200billion of commitments to the IMF’s emergency loans scheme.
But a number of the most important nations – including the U.S., Canada, Australia and China – have yet to agree to participate. Read More