British Prime Minister David Cameron claimed Sunday that recent riots had nothing to do with the drastic austerity measures taken by his government.

“I don’t think it was in any way linked to the economy,” he told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour. “These were not protests. They were not political arguments. They weren’t political demonstrations. It was, quite simply, looting. It was criminality.”

“You’ve instituted austerity measures,” Amanpour noted. “The economic growth is not there. People are saying now, as they look at austerity, that perhaps your governments are focusing on the wrong thing and that it should be about growth and employment. What do you say to that?”

“We have to understand, this is a debt crisis. It’s not a traditional cyclical recession, where you just turn on the money taps. You’ve got to deal with the debts. You’ve got to show the world you can pay for your debts, as well as having a very strong growth strategy,” Cameron replied.

Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Sept. 25, 2011.


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