Miliband sees turn of tide for austerity

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Labour leader Ed Miliband today said that “the tide is turning” on austerity economics.

Mr Miliband was speaking after meeting French president Francois Hollande in Paris, at which the two centre-left leaders agreed on the need for a new agenda focusing on jobs and growth.

Mr Miliband’s visit was a minor diplomatic triumph for the Labour leader, as he beat David Cameron to become the first senior British politician to hold talks with president Hollande in the Élysée Palace since his election in May.

Following the half-hour meeting, Mr Miliband said: “The points of agreement we have were around the fact that the tide is turning against an austerity approach, that there needs to be a different way forward found.

“What President Hollande is seeking to do in France and what he is seeking to do in leading the debate in Europe is find that different way forward.

“We are in agreement in seeking that new way that needs to be found and I think can be found.”

The Labour leader added: “We also discussed the emergency situation we face in relation to youth unemployment in our countries and the action that can be taken to do something about that.

“I believe action can be taken. I don’t believe we need to leave a quarter of our young people out of work and nor does the president of France.”

Yesterday’s talks took place under the shadow of further grim news for the eurozone, with Moody’s credit rating agency putting Germany on negative outlook amid fears that Spain may buckle under the pressure of gilt yields over 7 per cent.

Mr Miliband said he and the president discussed “most particularly the economic situation we are facing in Britain, in France and across Europe, with the continuing turbulence in the financial markets”.

He said they both wanted to “move towards jobs and growth in Europe rather than a Europe of austerity and unemployment”.