Cameron Defends Decision to Warn of Risks to Euro From Greece

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron defended his decision to warn of the dangers that Greece poses to the European single currency, saying Britain’s own prosperity is at risk.

“This affects us -- 40 percent of Britain’s exports go to euro-zone countries,” Cameron told reporters at the close of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Chicago. “And my judgment is that staying silent on the problems would actually be more dangerous than speaking out. We need these issues to be resolved.”

Cameron on May 20 urged European leaders to make contingency plans for a Greek exit from the euro. Greeks go to the polls again next month after their political leaders failed to form a governing coalition following the last election. Cameron said the vote would effectively decide whether the country stayed in the euro.

There’s no mechanism for a country to leave the euro, and a Greek exit would increase market pressure on other European countries deemed to be vulnerable. Speaking during the Group of Eight summit at Camp David on May 19, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Union President Jose Barroso refused to discuss plans for a Greek exit. Barroso said “Plan A” was for Greece to stay in.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in Chicago at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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