Tony Blair warned yesterday that the collapse of the eurozone would be “catastrophic” for the world economy. The former Prime Minister said the European Union was now facing the biggest challenge in its history, and added that it was “absolutely essential” political leaders got to grips with the debt woes of Italy and Greece.
Mr Blair told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “The decisions are immensely difficult but they have got to be taken. Right now for the single currency it is absolutely essential, if it is to be preserved, that the whole weight of Europe and its institutions come behind it.
“The choices are very, very difficult and very painful.
“They are painful if we take the measures necessary to stabilise the single currency – if the single currency broke up it would be catastrophic.”
But he added that Britain should still “keep the option open” of joining the Euro, if it survives the current crisis.
Meanwhile, Business Secretary Vince Cable accused Europe’s leaders of failing to step up to the mark. He told the BBC’s Politics Show they had been “consistently behind the game”.
On the same show, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls accused the ConDems of trying to “divert attention from what their policies have done” by blaming poor economic figures on the present crisis in Europe.