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Fix eurozone crisis now - Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne will push for swift and decisive action from eurozone countries to resolve the Greece crisis when he joins fellow EU finance ministers for talks in Luxembourg.

Athens' admission that it will miss its deficit targets and alarm bells over the health of Belgian bank Dexia spooked investors and saw further losses on markets on both sides of the Atlantic.

As fears over the potential impact of the worsening situation rose, Mr Osborne used his speech to the Conservative Party conference to issue a warning shot over inaction.

He has already set the meeting of the G20 nations in Cannes, France, early next month as the final deadline for those countries in the single currency to produce a workable plan.

Addressing the conference in Manchester ahead of the meeting, he said: "My objective is clear.

"The eurozone's financial fund needs maximum firepower. The eurozone needs to strengthen its banks.

"And the eurozone needs to end all the speculation, decide what they're going to do with Greece, and then stick to that decision."

Britain was "paying a high price" for the mistakes made in the eurozone, he said, and resolving the crisis would be "the single biggest boost to confidence that could happen to the British economy this autumn.

"The time to resolve the crisis is now. They've got to get out and fix their roof, even though it's already pouring with rain.

"We will do everything, work with anyone, overcome every obstacle in our path to jobs and prosperity. So that together we will ride out the storm."


From Belfast Telegraph