LONDON - Prime Minister David Cameron and George Osborne are piling pressure on Germany to foot the bill for supporting debt-stricken Greece as it emerged the Government is making emergency preparations for a collapse of the euro.
The Prime Minister suggested the eurozone needed to raise money by issuing 'eurobonds' ù collective debts ù if it wanted to save the single currency, while the Chancellor insisted Germany and other rich countries needed to 'share the burden'.
Mr Osborne told MPs the Government would be 'prepared for whatever comes' in the event of a Greek exit from the euro, adding: "We are making the necessary contingency plans."
Downing Street revealed that the National Security Council has discussed the likely fallout from a break-up of the single currency, including the potential for civil strife. Last night Mr Cameron held video conference talks on the crisis with German chancellor Angela Merkel; France's new president, Francois Hollande; Italian prime minister Mario Monti; Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council; and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the EU Commission.
Amid signs of increasingly bitter divisions on the Continent, Alexis Tsipras, head of Syriza, an extreme Left-wing Greek political party that opposes austerity measures, warned the EU was 'going directly to hell'.
Earlier, Mr Cameron admitted he 'cannot predict' how the eurozone crisis will end.
"I cannot pretend that Britain will be immune from the consequences, either," he said.
"But this I can promise: that we know what needs to be done and we are doing it. Get the deficit under control, get the foundations for recovery in place, defend the long-term interests of our control and hold our course." The Prime Minister risked infuriating EU leaders by talking freely about the possibility of the break-up of the euro.
Earlier this week, Mr Osborne warned that 'open speculation' about the future of eurozone members was damaging, but on Wednesday he said: "When eurozone central bank governors and finance ministers openly speculate on the possibility of Greek exit then the genie is out of the bottle."