CANNES, France — Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday that Europe must sort out its own economic mess — and flatly stated that Canada will not provide any funds to bail out the continent.
Harper delivered his message during a news conference at the close of a two-day G20 Summit, during which the leaders of the world’s most powerful economies focused on the continuing economic troubles of one region — Europe.
Harper’s statement was echoed by other world leaders, who expressed support for the Europeans’ efforts to develop a plan that will pull their nations out of the debt crisis that has threatened to become a global contagion.
“Let me be clear,” said Harper. “Moving the European plan forward remains critical to restoring confidence and growth in the global economy.”
The G20 leaders committed to bolstering the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to backstop nations in future crises, but stopped short of actually announcing funds to assist Europe in the current crisis.
“I think leaders here at the G20 are sending a message that we will do whatever is necessary in the event of a global crisis to provide stability to global markets,” said Harper.
Still, the prime minister became animated and categorical when asked if Canadian taxpayers would be required to contribute to a bailout fund for Europe.
Keep your eye on this story. There’s talk of labour and conservative MP’s combining their vote to defeat Cameron’s coalition government and this could be the issue which will decide the matter. Will the government fall? I don’t know but I do wonder how it has survived as long as it has. I suspect I’m far from alone.