Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • A radio station preaches peace and tolerance in CAR

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

Europe

EU under pressure to tackle debt at key summit

©

Video by Christophe DANSETTE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-23

European leaders commence two days of talks in Brussels Thursday to tackle the EU's weightiest issues. On the agenda is the passport-free Schengen travel area and the Greek financial crisis.

AFP - Europe's top leaders tackle a growing EU credibility gap Thursday as global critics and markets demand a game-changing breakthrough on Greece and the troubled eurozone at a pivotal summit.

Under notice from the International Monetary Fund, the United States and markets, the 27 European Union heads of state and government will seek to cajole allies into decisive action over two critical days of talks.

Originally intended to draw a line under the sovereign debt crisis, the summit could prove a defining moment for the EU as notions of Greece exiting the eurozone or even the entire bloc disintegrating are no longer taboo.

"The spectacle the Europeans have made of themselves in the face of the Greek crisis is an absolute disaster" for the cause of post-WWII integration, warned respected analyst Jean-Dominique Giuliani of the Robert Schuman Foundation.

The meeting has other big issues to ponder: shoring up another creaking symbol of mainland European unity -- its passport-free Schengen travel area -- as well as adjusting sights on Libya, slapping sanctions on Syria and looking at the path towards Palestinian statehood.

But it will be what the big states say and do for their shared currency area that determines whether a meeting of finance ministers set for July 3 can deliver both emergency and new long-term re-financing for Greece in an atmosphere of relative market calm.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won a confidence vote to give the summit a platform on which to build, although Athens still has to push through legislation for five years of cuts worth 28 billion euros ($40 billion) and 50 billion euros of state sell-offs, on June 28.

At stake is a 12-billion-euro loan from last year's 110-billion-euro international bailout, and a second rescue package almost as big -- although even there, some believe the best Europe can do is paper over the cracks.

"Some just see this as delaying the inevitable fact that the eurozone is broken beyond repair," said ING Markets analyst Cameron Peacock after the IMF warned of the risk of "large global spillovers" given inadequate cross-border economic governance.

Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, with his country seen by ratings giant Moody's as next to be squeezed on money markets, warned on Wednesday that all Europe would feel the heat from a "credibility crisis" if leaders did not act "as soon as possible" to shield Greece.

One signal of intent they may back is a suggestion by European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso that a billion euros of routine EU funding could be brought forward.

Current European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet will take part in the talks on the day the summit anoints Italy's Mario Draghi as his successor, as the leaders try to bury a damaging public row pitting Germany against France, the ECB and others, over how to persuade banks to delay calling in their Greek debts.

A row that drew a sharp rebuke from US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who warned this week that "it's very hard for people who invest in Europe to understand what the strategy is when you have so many voices."

Date created : 2011-06-23

  • GREECE

    Eurozone delays decision on emergency loans to Greece

    Read more

  • PORTUGAL

    Eurozone finance chair predicts Portugal will avoid bailout

    Read more

  • EUROPEAN UNION

    Sarkozy, Merkel call for eurozone summit, tighter regulation

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)