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Britain to the eurozone: Get your act together

UK finance chief George Osborne called on his European neighbors to put their 'house in order' as Britain sees some promising economic gains.

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From the left, French Finance minister Christine Lagarde, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and other participants attend the annual conference on changing the world financial system on Jan. 6, in Paris.

Remy de la Mauviniere/AP

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Boosted at the dawn of a new year by tentative signs that Britain’s economic recovery is gaining momentum, the British coalition government has acquired something of a spring to its step.

Or a reckless swagger, some say.

Although 2011 will see the affect of tough austerity measures unmatched by any other big European state, economic figures this week show something of a surprise. The strongest British manufacturing performance in 16 years last month has encouraged Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration that its radical plans for rebalancing the economy are paying off.

Five noteworthy aspects of Britain's tough spending plan

With the UK's neighbors still mired in a debt-driven crisis threatening the eurozone, Britain’s finance minister called Thursday on Europe to “put its own house in order” in 2011. He urged states sharing the common currency to underpin it and decisively sort out the bloc’s fragile banking system.

Call to 'bold' action

George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, used an article in the Financial Times to assert that Europe has not been bold enough in its response to its currency and banking problems. He also invited others to follow Britain's embrace of stringent deficit reduction.

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