UK Politics

G8 Summit: Cameron says 'good progress' on eurozone

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Media captionDavid Cameron: ''What is required is a sense of urgency''

UK PM David Cameron has said the G8 summit of world leaders is making "good progress" on talks over the eurozone.

But he cautioned against any deal at the gathering in the United States, warning the G8 "cannot instruct the eurozone what to do".

Mr Cameron said he supported German chancellor Angela Merkel's insistence on efforts to reduce deficits.

A summit communique was later issued saying the leaders want debt-stricken Greece to remain in the eurozone.

Greece's possible exit from the eurozone, after inconclusive elections there, was high on the agenda of the talks between the US, Germany, France, Britain, Japan, Russia, Italy and Canada at the president's retreat at Camp David, north of Washington.

Treadmill talks

Ahead of a working session on the eurozone and the world economy, Mr Cameron and Barack Obama took to treadmills for informal talks in the gym at the presidential retreat.

BBC chief political correspondent Norman Smith said Mr Cameron was invited to the gym in order for the two leaders to talk alone, without aides present.

The president was said to have called for the prime minister at his log cabin and the pair emerged 35 minutes later from the gym before heading back towards the leaders' cabins.

In the summit comunique G8 leaders stated their commitment to promote growth alongside fiscal responsibility, although they acknowledged "the right measures are not the same for each of us".

It is understood Mrs Merkel is increasingly anxious the German perspective on the crisis is not being heard.

Mr Cameron said: "I think the German chancellor is absolutely right that every country needs to have in place strong plans for dealing with their deficits."

He continued: "But clearly, just as Britain benefits from a strong government with a strong deficit reduction plan and strong banks but also an independent monetary policy giving us low interest rates, helping to push demand in the economy, so the eurozone, I believe, needs that approach as well."

The prime minister said the eurozone nations needed to heed calls from around the world for "decisive action" to end the turmoil.

As well as the eurozone, G8 leaders discussed measures to ease the price of oil.

Mr Cameron said: "We are addressing here the two biggest threats to all our economies and that is, of course, the eurozone crisis but also the very high oil prices that translate into high prices at the pumps.

"We are making progress on both."

Mr Obama had welcomed G8 leaders late on Friday, and they discussed the nuclear stand-off in Iran and North Korea, and the unrest in Syria.

Mr Cameron had also warned French President Francois Hollande that Britain will not accept a tax on financial transactions.

Speaking in Washington on Friday ahead of his meeting with the newly elected French leader, Mr Cameron said it was not a "sensible measure".

Mr Cameron said eurozone leaders needed to take swift action to resolve the crisis over Greece.

"This is in Britain's interest too because we want to have a successful growing eurozone on our doorstep and not the instability we have now."

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