UK's Osborne calls for Europe to pull together

LONDON Sun Aug 7, 2011 9:51pm EDT

LONDON Aug 8 (Reuters) - Greater financial integration is the only viable long-term solution to the eurozone debt crisis, British finance minister George Osborne said in an editorial article in the Daily Telegraph on Monday.

Osborne said that the future of the euro is in jeopardy and the debt crisis threatens to undermine the single currency, with potentially disastrous consequences for Britain.

"Countries must demonstrate that they have credible plans to deal with excessive deficits, improve competitiveness and strengthen banking systems...but by its nature a global crisis cannot be solved by countries acting alone," Osborne said.

"Eurozone countries must now act swiftly to deliver on what they have promised. Euro area institutions need to do whatever is necessary to ensure financial stability, as I am sure they will."

Osborne said he was planning a major autumn push to kick-start domestic growth, hinting a range of measures, such as tax cuts and cutting business regulations.

He also urged Europe's finance ministers to develop a euro bond, which would see the debts of strong and weak eurozone countries combined.

"Eurozone countries need to accept the remorseless logic of monetary union that leads from a single currency to greater fiscal integration."

"Solutions such as eurobonds now require serious consideration if investors are to be convinced about the long-term future of the euro."

"A disorderly outcome would be disastrous for everyone, including Britain, so we should allow greater integration to happen, while ensuring we are not part of it and our own national interests are protected," he added. (Reporting by Stephen Mangan; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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