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Page last updated at 07:13 GMT, Wednesday, 26 October 2011 08:13 UK

Lamont: Eurozone agreement is crucial

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European leaders are returning to Brussels for the second time in less than a week to try to resolve the debt crisis in the eurozone.

There will be two summit meetings, one for all 27 EU member states and another for the 17 countries that use the euro. Officials have been meeting throughout the night to try to reach an agreement, before tonight's eurozone summit.

Speaking on the programme the former chancellor, Lord Lamont, said it was crucial that an agreement is made.

"I hope that they will manage to satisfy the markets and buy some time. I personally think that the long-term future of the euro will be argued about for some time to come because I think the strains there are so immense.

"I don't believe that the southern Mediterranean countries in the long-run can ever become really fully competitive and in their attempt to do so they face a huge period of stagnation which I think will be very unpopular with public opinion.

"I think that's the basic long-term problem, but I very much hope that they're going to come up with some solution that is going to avoid a disorderly, unplanned break-up now."


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