Austrian leader has "hard time" with Cameron

VIENNA Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:08pm GMT

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron stands with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and his wife Martina during a reception at Buckingham Palace, London July 27. REUTERS/Stefan Rousseau/Pool

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron stands with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and his wife Martina during a reception at Buckingham Palace, London July 27.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Rousseau/Pool

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VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann says he has a "hard time" with Prime Minister David Cameron, who tends to give a different message at home than to fellow leaders in Europe.

The undiplomatic comments to newspaper Der Standard come amid a debate in Britain about the merits of its membership in the European Union as London becomes increasingly out of step with other EU members.

While heaping praise on other European leaders including Germany's Angela Merkel and Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker, the Social Democrat said relations with Cameron were more testy.

"Why I have a hard time with David Cameron, also in a personal relationship and when it comes to trust, (is) because I get the feeling with him that ... he speaks differently in his own country than he does in the European Council," Faymann was quoted as saying.

He was referring to informal and confidential talks at summits by European leaders at which he said they could openly express positions without fear of having others spin their comments for political advantage later.

"Everyone forgoes these polemics as a rule. And there are really very few exceptions where someone or other tries to play the victor afterwards," Faymann said in the interview released ahead of publication on Saturday.

He did not give details of when this may have happened, or over what issues.

Cameron faces pressure from within his Conservative Party to call a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU, a demand backed by opinion polls which show a majority of Britons would, if given the chance, vote to leave the 27-nation bloc.

But business leaders in Britain have said they strongly oppose the prospect of radically downgrading ties with its biggest trading partner, while international partners from the United States to Germany and Ireland have made it clear they oppose a British EU exit.

The subject of Britain's relationship with Europe has also led to perceptions of discord with the United States, with Cameron's spokesman saying on Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama had told the prime minister that he supported his drive to renegotiate Britain's EU membership.

Relations between the two allies came under the spotlight this week after a senior U.S. official made a rare and forceful foray into what is an emotive domestic debate, saying Washington wanted Britain to stay in the EU.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (2)
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Austrian… Isnt that really just terminology for a second-class of German citizen these days?

When will these Continentals realise that the U.K. isnt in the same level of overall Club membership, when the country isnt using the euro, isnt integral to the ECB and is not of the Schengen Area.

Jan 12, 2013 1:23pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
The pro-Europe lobby seem to be wedded with wanting to be included in a forthcoming pan-European bank bailout…

You just cannot suss why on earth they are so hell bent on adding to the UK’s overall potential future liability burdens?

Which also explains why the Germans are so desperate not to allow a democratic option for the UK citizen.

Jan 12, 2013 11:40pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
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