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British Prime Minister David Cameron has defended Britain's decision to stay out of the Euro and has also made it clear, justifiably, that Britain, which isn't a member of the Eurozone, will NOT help to bail out the beleagured currency.

Visiting French President Nicholas Sarkozy in Paris on his first overseas trips as PM, Cameron said: "We were right not to join the euro and... right to stay out of the euro."

The Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government has said the UK will not join, or prepare to join, the euro during this 5-year parliament.

But Cameron also said that it's "in Britain's interests that the eurozone is a success, that the euro is a successful currency, that the eurozone economies recover."

11 of the 27 EU Member States have not adopted the Euro.

The talks between Britain and France comes just nine months after the bizarre"dwarfgate" row between the two ancient rivals.

The dispute centres on a claim that, in September, Mr Cameron - who was then Leader of the Opposition - made a remark about 'hidden dwarfs' while discussing a photograph showing himself with Mr Sarkozy - who is seven inches shorter than the Tory leader.

The French government was reportedly furious about the comment (though I don't see why the French are angry. Sarkozy isn't the first French leader the British have mocked for his small stature).

Three days after the 'hidden dwarfs' interview, Mr Osborne, who is now Chancellor of the Exchequer, added insult to injury by publicly taunting Mr Sarkozy at a business conference in Church House, Westminster, organised by the Right-wing magazine The Spectator.

As Mr Osborne, 5ft 11in, approached the lectern to make his speech, he stumbled on a box placed there for a previous speaker. Mr Osborne called it a 'Sarkozy box' and burst into giggles.

Thankfully, during last week's meeting with Sarkozy, Cameron managed to keep a straight face.

Entente cordiale there most certainly isn't.

Cameron defends staying out of euro as he meets Sarkozy (but this time there were no 'dwarf' jibes)

Thursday 20th May 2010
BBC News


"Hello. Seen much of Snow White lately?"

Prime Minister David Cameron has defended the government's decision to keep Britain out of the euro, during a meeting with the French President.

He met Nicolas Sarkozy while on his first foreign trip since taking office.

Meanwhile EU leaders stepped up efforts to restore the credibility of the euro amid ongoing problems in the eurozone.

Mr Cameron said Britain needed the eurozone to be a success but added: "We were right not to join the euro and... right to stay out of the euro."

The Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government has said the UK will not join, or prepare to join, the euro during this parliament.

Mr Cameron told a news conference in Paris that pledge was "important".

"I think we were right not to join the euro and I think were right to stay out of the euro.

"But let me be absolutely clear, it's in Britain's interests that the eurozone is a success, that the euro is a successful currency, that the eurozone economies recover," he added.

The UK would "work well" with other nations and play its own part by sticking to a stability pact, agreed by the previous Labour administration, and acting quickly to reduce it own deficit, he said.

But he added that as a non-member of the eurozone the UK should not bear the costs of any bail-out.

When he reiterated his "fundamental" concerns about the euro and determination to keep Britain out of it, Mr Sarkozy insisted the single currency had proved "a success".

Brussels summons


Pointing the way: Aides to the French president said he was prepared to forget the 'dwarf' jibe Mr Cameron made

Earlier this month, the EU and International Monetary Fund agreed a package worth 750bn euros to try to prevent the Greek crisis from spreading to other weak eurozone economies.

The 16 single currency member states have signed up to the bail-out.

On Wednesday German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned the euro was "in danger" without strong action, but France's economy minister said the currency was not at risk.

Germany - Europe's largest economy - has been helping to stabilise the euro, which has fallen to a four-year low against the dollar this week, before strengthening.

Thursday afternoon saw it falling again, down 0.7% to $1.234.

With the rescue package promise failing to steady markets, finance ministers have been summoned to Brussels on Friday to begin work on closer "economic governance in Europe".

Following his talks with Mr Sarkozy, Mr Cameron said the leaders shared the view that forthcoming G8 and G20 meetings should address financial reforms including levies on banks, he said.


Entente cordiale? Mr Sarkozy gestures towards his British guest as they made a joint press conference


On ceremony: Mr Cameron was given a guard of honour at the Elysee Palace

Mr Cameron also hailed a commitment to work together to ensure success in a "crucial" year for the military campaign in Afghanistan.

They would also make joint efforts to "tip the scales" in pressurising Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions through harder United Nations sanctions, he said.

"From all the things we have discussed tonight, I think we can have a partnership that has a real purpose, that is very focused, that is very practical, that actually leads to results in the things that we both care about," said Mr Cameron.

The Prime Minister's meeting with Mr Sarkozy meeting came just months after the extraordinary 'dwarfgate row', when Mr Cameron allegedly made a remark about ‘hidden dwarfs’ while discussing a photograph showing himself with Mr Sarkozy - who is seven inches shorter than the former Opposition leader.

But aides to the French president said Mr Sarkozy was prepared to let bygones be bygones, with one insisting that the meeting was ‘held at Mr Cameron’s request’.

‘The meeting was arranged during a telephone call. It will be Mr Cameron’s first visit abroad as Prime Minister - something which is a great honour for France,’ the aide said.

Mr Sarkozy is - at 5ft 5ins - notoriously sensitive about his height, and once used a small stool hidden under a lecturn to make himself taller while sharing a stage with a number of other world leaders

Dwarfgate: 5ft 5in Sarkozy's fury as 6ft Cameron and 5ft 11in Osborne 'mock his size'

By Simon Walters, Mail on Sunday Political Editor
14th March 2010
Daily Mail

David Cameron is caught up in an extraordinary 'dwarfgate' row with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The dispute centres on a claim that Mr Cameron made a remark about 'hidden dwarfs' while discussing a photograph showing himself with Mr Sarkozy - who is seven inches shorter than the Tory leader.

The French government was reportedly furious about the comment.




High office: David Cameron with Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday



And Shadow Chancellor George Osborne allegedly fuelled the Franco-Tory war by describing a box placed beneath a speaker's lectern as a 'Sarkozy box', before bursting into a fit of giggles.

The jibes, made over a period of three days, led to French officials remonstrating with British counterparts, according to BBC2's Newsnight.

The Tories last night dismissed the dwarfgate report as 'nonsense' and claed it was a 'Labour Party plant'. A senior Conservative source claimed that Gordon Brown was angry that Mr Sarkozy had agreed to meet Mr Cameron - and had even tried to stop the meeting taking place.

The dispute, which took place last September, emerged after Mr Sarkozy visited London on Friday and showered praise on Mr Brown as a 'great European and very good friend of mine'.

Mr Sarkozy has criticised Mr Cameron's Eurosceptic stance in recent months. But Conservative officials insisted they got on so well when they met at the French Ambassador's residence in London on Friday that Mr Sarkozy even offered the Tory leader tips on how to beat Mr Brown in the televised election debates.

The dwarfgate row erupted when Mr Cameron gave a newspaper interview in his Commons office, in which he appeared to mock Mr Sarkozy.

An article described framed photographs on Mr Cameron's desk, two featuring him with Barack Obama and several with Baroness Thatcher. It continued: '...and one with Nicolas Sarkozy that prompts a joke about "hidden dwarfs".'



Insult to injury: George Osborne making his 'Sarkozy box' jibe



It went on to state that Mr Cameron boasted how he liked a photograph of himself with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, 'because I'm taller than the Terminator'.

It is not clear what was meant by 'hidden dwarfs', though the implication is that the phrase was uttered by Mr Cameron and aimed at Mr Sarkozy. The French were not amused.

Mr Sarkozy, who is 5ft 5in, is famously sensitive about his height - or lack of it. Photographs of him with Mr Cameron on Friday show how, at 6ft tall, the Conservative leader towers over the Frenchman.

Mr Sarkozy wears Cuban heels to give him extra inches, while his statuesque wife Carla Bruni wears flat shoes to bring her closer to her husband's level.

Three days after the 'hidden dwarfs' interview, Mr Osborne added insult to injury by publicly taunting Mr Sarkozy at a business conference in Church House, Westminster, organised by the Right-wing magazine The Spectator.

As Mr Osborne, 5ft 11in, approached the lectern to make his speech, he stumbled on a box placed there for a previous speaker. Mr Osborne called it a 'Sarkozy box' and burst into giggles.

According to the BBC, French officials lodged a protest with their UK counterparts on the grounds that Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne had 'failed to show sufficient respect' for the French head of state.

The protest was echoed in an article by leading French political commentator Marc Roche in the Left-wing Le Monde newspaper, which called Mr Osborne an 'intellectual lightweight' and accused him of a 'lack of courtesy'.

A diplomatic source in Paris said last night that Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne's comments had caused 'a fair amount of consternation, to say the least,' adding: 'Yes, it was discussed with the French and, yes, they weren't happy about it.'

It is not the first time Mr Sarkozy and Mr Cameron have clashed. Diplomatic sources say Mr Sarkozy 'gave a stern lecture' to Mr Cameron at a meeting in Paris shortly after he became Conservative leader in 2005.

Nick Allan, press secretary at the British Embassy in Paris at the time, said: 'Cameron was on the receiving end of a tsunami of criticism. It was a 30-minute meeting, 28 of which was a monologue from Sarkozy that made No 10's "forces of hell" look like a teddy bears' picnic.'

A spokesman for Mr Sarkozy said: 'We have no comment to make.'

dailymail.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; May 23rd, 2010 at 02:46 PM..