- 10 updates
It is no secret to anyone who talks to European politicians that they never like hearing lectures from London about how they ought to run their own economies or the EU.
Ironically of course the economic debate in much of Europe is moving in George Osborne's direction, but not really because of him.
The figure he used today that Europe accounts for 7% of the world's population but 50% of the world's welfare spending is a favourite figure of Angela Merkel's in Germany - she is the one that has been lecturing Europe on this.
Since the Tories came to power in the UK they have managed to cut welfare spending by just 0.25%. In that same period the Germans have cut their welfare spending by 3.5%, so you can imagine when they are looking for lectures on this who they are listening to.
The French do know they have a problem. President Hollande said yesterday he wants to bring his economy into line with Germany - he doesn't mention copying Britain.
Chancellor George Osborne has described the EU treaties as "not for for purpose" in a speech on EU reform.
A senior Tory has called for members of his party to start "vigorously making the case" for Britain to stay in the EU, the Times reports.
Nicholas Soames said Europhile Tories "only had themselves to blame" for allowing Eurosceptic colleagues to dominate the current debate. He said:
Chancellor George Osborne will issue a warning on the need for the European Union to reform during a keynote address later today.
The Chancellor will stress the Conservatives' determination to renegotiate the terms of Britain's membership, declaring "We can't go on like this." Addressing a conference on EU reform, he will say:
"The biggest economic risk facing Europe doesn't come from those who want reform and renegotiation - it comes from a failure to reform and renegotiate.
"It is the status quo which condemns the people of Europe to an ongoing economic crisis and continuing decline. And so there is a simple choice for Europe: reform or decline.
"Our determination is clear: to deliver the reform, and then let the people decide."