Press Advisories

23. 6. 2011 19:47

Cameron in the Czech Republic: All European States Must Cut Spending

British Prime Minister David Cameron returned to the Czech Republic on an official visit, his first in five years. He discussed issues such as the EU's financial stability with Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas.

"Europe should reflect the fact that all European states must cut spending and become more effective. The European Commission should also behave responsibly," United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron said at a press conference.

"It is necessary to prevent future moral hazard, to make it clear that going into debt and then solving it at taxpayers' expense will not go unpunished," Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas said, adding that while the Czech Republic and Great Britain still use their own national currencies, both countries have an interest in the eurozone's stability. "Britain will not join the eurozone, but 40 percent of our exports head there; we want the eurozone to sort out its problems,“ Prime Minister Cameron said.

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Both prime ministers also spoke about the completion of the European Union's internal market, support to small and medium enterprises and support for the economy's innovation potential. According to the Czech prime minister, if EU member states' economies are not based on innovation, they will not be able to compete in the long term.

"We emphasised that we have two priorities. The first priority is that the size of the European budget not increase, and the second priority is to give resources to what is most important, and that is support for innovation and competitiveness in the EU," Prime Minister Nečas said.

Cameron also mentioned the joint Czech-British ELI scientific project in the area of plasma physics. It is the most intensive laser in the world, which is currently being built in Dolní Břežany, and will become a unique project in Europe, which should attract scientific capacity from all over the world. "This project is proof of both of our countries' common approach which places emphasis on competitiveness and innovation potential," Nečas said.

Britain Has Started Withdrawing Troops from Afghanistan

In their meeting, the prime ministers also touched on the situation in Afghanistan. Britain has clearly said that it will not have combat units in Afghanistan after 2014, and that it will not have the number of soldiers it has this year. "In terms of our own plans, I announced some weeks ago that we were taking around 430 people out of Afghanistan in the current period. That leaves us with an enduring number of 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, the second-largest contributor, and we'll be looking to make further reductions as we move towards the end of 2014," Cameron said, adding that he admires the significant contribution of the Czech Republic in Afghanistan, which is helping to calm the situation so that the country can be handed over to an autonomous government.

According to Nečas, the Czech Republic is not playing as important role as the United Kingdom in Afghanistan. "On the other hand, it is true that we are a responsible ally which keeps its commitments. The government under my leadership, has taken no unilateral steps have been taken, and we will continue to be a reliable NATO ally," the Czech prime minister added.

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