Europe Wants to See Gain Before More Austerity Pain, Blair Says

Europeans across the continent are anxious that economic-stabilization policies are not getting the job done while inflicting too much pain, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair told CNBC on Friday.

In a "Squawk Box" interview from the YPO Global Leadership Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, Blair said: "Personally, I think the euro has been, in one sense, stabilized by the actions of the European Central Bank over the past year or so."

Still, he pointed out that there's still a liquidity problem, a solvency problem, and "above all" a growth problem.

"I think what the [unresolved] Italian election means is that people are prepared to take the pain of very difficult decisions provided they can see the gain in growth and jobs coming," Blair reflected. "The problem in Europe right now is that people don't see it coming."

(Read More: Italy Has Choice of 'Two Clowns': Wilbur Ross)

Blair, Britain's longest serving Labor Party prime minister, brushed off the recent UK credit downgrade by Moody's. "The real question for the UK, and as well all countries who are trying to cut their deficits, is how do they cut the deficit without destroying the prospects for growth."

(Read More: Moody's United Kingdom Sovereign Downgrade: Yawn)

Blair explained that the British government has put austerity at the forefront of its debt-cutting program.

He also suggested he would probably take a different approach were he was still in office. "It's [also] important that … we keep the investment going for the future."

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron's ruling Conservative Party has come under withering pressure from all sides. In a closely watched parliamentary by-election, the Tories were beaten into third place by a party that is a relentless critic of the European Union.

While part of the EU, the British stayed out of the euro when it was formed, opting to keep the pound as its currency.

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere; Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC. Reuters also contributed to this report.

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