LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron boasted yesterday that Britain would become a post-recession flagship in 2014, in what was reported as a swipe at France’s “disastrous” economic policies.
Writing in The Times newspaper, Cameron said Britain was a country on the rise as he warned against “the great mistakes that led up to the great recession—more borrowing, more spending and more debt”. Though Cameron did not name the “countries currently following that approach”, The Times said it was a “swipe at France” and an “apparent gibe” at President Francois Hollande.
“Cameron’s dig at France in warning over debt”, said the front page. His remarks “will be widely interpreted as an attack on Mr Hollande, who is under pressure as France’s economy continues to struggle,” the daily said.
Cameron wrote: “2014 is when we start to turn Britain into the flagship post-great recession success story. “With record numbers of new businesses, we can be the enterprise capital of Europe.
“We must not resurrect the dangerous thinking that got us into the mess from which we are now recovering,” the centre-right Conservative leader warned.
Blaming the previous centre-left Labour government, which lost power in 2010, he said the British economy contracted by 7.2 per cent during the economic downturn. “If you doubt how disastrous a return to Labour-style economics would be, just look at countries that are currently following that approach,” he wrote.
“They face increasing unemployment, industrial stagnation and enterprise in free-fall. The opposite of what’s happening here.
“Our recovery is real, but it’s also fragile, and there are more difficult decisions ahead. A return to that economic madness would devastate this country.”
While Britain is predicting economic growth of 1.4 percent in 2013 and 2.4 percent in 2014, France’s national economics statistics institute INSEE predicted growth of 0.2 percent for 2013.