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European Council

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 24th October 2011.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 3:30 pm, 24th October 2011

There are two issues if we are going to see a decisive resolution of the Greek situation. Obviously we need a recapitalisation of Europe’s banks, so that they have sufficient capital to withstand the losses that would otherwise affect them. Credible stress tests are crucial to that: there has been round after round of stress tests in Europe, but they have not been robust and credible enough. I believe that that has now been secured, not least because of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor’s work in the ECOFIN meeting. The second thing we need—the firewall; what I called the “big bazooka”, which the shadow Chancellor referred to the other day—is to ensure that we have a mechanism big enough to help to stop contagion to other countries. There will be discussions in the eurozone and outside it about how big that needs to be, but the answer is: bigger than is currently proposed, and they need to keep working on it.