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Opinion

Blair backs euro “after five tests”

London's Hilton Hotel was running at full capacity this June with 800 delegates from some 60 countries attending Euromoney's Global Borrowers and Investors Forum.


Prime attraction, at the end of the three-day conference on Thursday June 22, was a keynote speech by UK prime minister Tony Blair, which contributed a good deal to the squeezing and crowding.


Blair proudly presented New Labour's efforts to make Britain "the best place to do business in Europe".


One major threat to the prosperity of the financial community in the City of London, the prospect of a Europe-wide withholding tax, has been averted at June's EU summit in Feira, Portugal "by winning the argument, not by using the veto," Blair told his audience.


"And by winning the rest of Europe round to our view we have done more than protect Briton's interest over withholding tax. We have advanced our vision of an open, deregulated Europe in which legitimate tax competition is a spur to economic development not a threat."


The City is, in fact, prospering at such an unexpected rate that the question arises whether this is despite the UK being outside the eurozone, or maybe because of it.






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