G20: A never ending crisis
- 18 June 2012
- From the section UK Politics
It's hot, it's sunny, the beaches are lovely but there remains a hint of danger in the air. No, this isn't Greece, it's Mexico - host to a summit of world leaders - not including the Greeks.
Who would think the leaders who are here - representing the world's biggest and fastest growing economies - would care about little Greece? But they do.
Whether it's President Obama - facing an electorate increasingly worried that the American dream may turn out to be just that for their children and grandchildren - or President Hu of China - anxious about signs of a slowdown in the world's second largest economy - the world remains concerned about the politics of Athens.
David Cameron spoke for all those who are relieved that Greeks voted as they did but who are still aware that an election result is not the same as a stable government let alone one able to deliver on its promises.
He said: "The danger is that the Greek people have now made their choice to stay in the euro, to accept the consequences of what that involves, and those parties that believe that need to get into government, need to deliver that. Delay is always dangerous in these situations. It is in our interests in Britain that these issues are resolved decisively and swiftly and that is what we are urging people to do today"
The prime minister has significantly changed his tone about Germany. Instead of berating them for not doing more he is now expressing his understanding about the difficulties his friend Angela now faces: "I don't think it would be right to put all the blame on one leader. Everyone in the eurozone needs to act to make the system work properly.
"Clearly there are a lot of issues that the Germans need to address, but it would be unfair to single someone out. I can quite understand the concern that the Germans have. Their taxpayers have been asked to put a lot of money into Greece, they have done that and so they want the Greeks to stick to their side of the bargain."
Month after month, election after election, summit after summit the talk has been about a choice between an immediate crisis or a crisis resolved.
What David Cameron is beginning to talk about and focus on is a third possibility - a crisis which, if not permanent, may not be resolved for a very long time. That will mean that the debate will resume at home about what can be done - regardless of what Europe does - to stimulate the British economy.