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Europe Needs a Dose of Britain's Boldness

"europe's Lack Of Competitiveness Remains Its Achilles' Heel"

We meet today at a perilous moment for economies right across Europe. Growth has stalled. Unemployment is rising. The prospect of Europe getting left behind is all too apparent.

While China grows at 8%, India at 7% and Africa at 5.5%, the European Commission forecasts the EU will grow by just 0.6 per cent in the whole of 2012-and even that is assuming the problems in the Eurozone get better not worse.

Yesterday in Britain we had the official figures for the final quarter of last year-and they were negative.

Other large economies of Europe are forecast to have a similar outcome.

In just four years Government debt per EU citizen has risen by 4,500 euros. Foreign direct investment has fallen by around two-thirds.

And in more than half of EU Member States, a fifth of all young people are now out of work. So this is not a moment to try and pretend there isn't a problem.

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