UK refuses IMF contribution
George Osborne has blocked any UK contribution to an International Monetary Fund package to save the euro that is funded only by European Union nations. The UK would have been the second biggest contributor to the fund, behind Germany and level with France, and it would have cost the country an estimated £30.9bn.
Earlier, Germany’s Foreign Minister insisted there is "no hidden agenda" against the City of London. Speaking at a press conference in London alongside Foreign Secretary William Hague, Guido Westerwelle said that it was "important" that the City had a "positive future".
In a marked difference from the recent war of words with France, Mr Westerwelle stressed the need for the British financial sector to remain strong and said that Britain was still a key member of the EU:
"It is in our common interest and in our mutual interest to have a strong segment of financial service here in the City of London, and if you would go into details you would see how many Germany, French, Spanish, Italian banks are invested here in the City of London. I think you see it is obvious that we share this goal, and I want to tell you that there is no need to have any doubts for us. We will work on it and identify what we can do to develop our single market."
Downing Street welcomed Mr Westerwelle's comments, saying: "We work very closely with the Germans on a whole range of issues".
The ECB president Mario Draghi has broken an unofficial rule for his position, openly discussing a eurozone break up - in order to warn of its immense cost. Mr Draghi told the Financial Times that any country that left the euro would still have to implement structural reforms, and would be "in a much weaker position".