European Leaders Race to Tackle Crisis
By James G. NeugerEuropean leaders hunted for solutions to the debt crisis, helping Italy and Spain gain a respite from the market turbulence after the resumption of the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program.
With global stock markets sinking for an eighth day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy plan to speak by phone later today, their offices said. The European Commission called for an expansion of the European Financial Stability Facility, the 440 billion-euro ($623 billion) rescue fund, earning a rebuke from Germany.
The EFSF “should be reinforced and the scope widened,”European Union Economic and Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn told reporters in Brussels. “Experience has shown that we need to stand ready” to act, “preferably ahead of the curve, to be effective.” German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler rejected taking more measures.
Comment: The commitment to the euro of the European leaders has been raised so high that there's no way back now. Yet it is still unclear whether the European debt crisis worked as a catalyst towards a closer union or that it planted a series of time bomb which will go off one by one in the future.