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To end crisis, leaders told: Get behind euro

[ 2011-11-28 15:39]     字号 [] [] []  
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European leaders should show a credible commitment to stand behind the single-currency system and resolve the ongoing crisis, a prerequisite for China's help, Tony Blair said on Saturday.

"Now is really the last chance for decisive leadership (in Europe). (It's) time for action," said the former British prime minister in an exclusive interview.

"I have no doubt China is prepared to help, but it only helps if Europe gets its act together. There's no Chinese action that can substitute European action," said Blair, who was visiting Beijing to meet with Vice-Premier Wang Qishan to discuss global economics, eurozone debt and the Middle East crisis.

To preserve the euro, he said leaders must show the "whole weight of the European economic system will stand behind the single currency ... whether that can be done through the European Financial Stability Fund, the European Central Bank or can be done in a number of different ways".

Battered by market jitters, bond yields rose in almost every eurozone country last week, indicating growing investor concerns, while Germany failed to find enough bids for a 10-year bond auction.

As a result, the S&P 500 - an index that tracks the prices of the 500 largest public companies in the United States - saw its worst weekly performance in two months and fell for a second straight week.

Seeming to answer the markets' call for action, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are reported to be pondering more drastic measures, including a new Stability Pact, to stem the crisis.

Previous reports suggested China would extend a helping hand to Europe, as it has a large pile-up of foreign exchange reserves, as much as $3.2 trillion. However, Chinese officials and policy advisers have expressed concerns that the situation may be too risky if European policymakers fail to devise a workable rescue plan.

Blair, who stepped down from power in 2007, urged China and the West to iron out their differences, such as those surrounding trade frictions, in a more cooperative way to push stable global economic growth.

Understanding each other and not escalating trade tensions is essential at this time, he said.

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

To end crisis, leaders told: Get behind euro

About the broadcaster:

To end crisis, leaders told: Get behind euro

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.