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Europe Debts: Pause Between Summits

  • October 25th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

council-building4.jpgEuropean heads of government are having a summit in-between summits at the start of this week, after ending one gathering at Brussels on Sunday, and limbering up for another this Wednesday (26.10.11).

The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, were instrumental in the extraordinary move of convening  a second round of talks.

One reason might well be the large number of parties to consult outside of the circle of 27 European Union governments, on the issue under debate, the debt crisis putting the squeeze of European governments and banks.

Mixed reports from the weekend gathering suggested fair agreement on ways to recapitalise banks, but less agreement on other measures in a proposed package to provide stability: imposing a share of the cost on the private sector, with talk of banks writing off 30-50% of public debt owed by Greece; and enlarging the stabilisation fund, EFSF, set up as a guarantee of borrowing by weaker EU economies. More talk emerged of amendments to the Lisbon Treaty that set up the current EU structure, not to weaken it, but to effect tighter collaboration and joint action where it is wanted, when crisis arrives.

Private discussions now must involve many parties not least banking interests, some of which have become publicly restive under the pressure; and not least, among other agencies, the International Monetary Fund.

The Wednesday summit has been called a broad forum for setting out solutions, ahead of a meeting of the Eurozone group, the 17 countries using the Euro currency – the key issue in the battle to manage the problems of countries with difficulties (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, then Spain, later and lesser, Italy), while keeping them linked through their agreed economic performance criteria.

Problems of the Euro appear galling for some EU partners not yet qualified to join the group, or choosing to stay out of it, notably the United Kingdom with both a large finance industry and a strong attachment to its own currency.

Mr Sarkozy was reported to have complained about “interference” by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in decision-making over the Euro.

See EUAustralia Online: “Weekend warriors on world economy”, 17.10.11; “Barroso doctrine on state of the Union”, 29.9.11.


RT, Moscow, EU summit eyes Lisbon Treaty change, 24.10.11., (25.10.11).

TV-NZ, Auckland, “EU summit produces no real solutions  TV”,  25.10.11., (25.10.11).

Picture   Summit venue Brussels