The 12 leading European countries that are calling for more emphasis on growth have signed a letter to top EU officials asking for a shift away from tough budget cuts.
Germany and France have not signed it, but Britain and Spain, whose leaders were meeting in London on Tuesday, have given their support.
“It is a letter that demands action on completing the single market in services” said Prime Minister David Cameron, “in energy, in digital, making sure that we properly promote innovation, making sure that Europe is deregulating and helping growth and making sure that we are signing trade deals with the fastest growing parts of the world.”
The letter claims that Europe is not just facing a crisis of debt but also of growth.
Spain signed despite just having introduced labour reforms that appear to be austerity-led. But Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy argues the measures will stimulate Spanish business: “We have legislation that is more than 30 years old. We have to move on, we can’t remain stuck in the past because today we’re living in a different world where we have to compete. So I think that this labour reform is going to give more opportunities to small and medium sized Spanish companies, to the workers, and especially to the young people of our country who are now unemployed.”
Many workers in Spain are not so sure. On Sunday trade unions organised mass demonstrations across the country. Everyone is looking for a way out of the crisis, but there are clear differences emerging on just how to go about it.