Taoiseach on euro crisis: “I think we have to get on with what we have now…”

Oh dear…  RTÉ reports Taoiseach Enda Kenny sticking his head in the sand insisting that the status quo is perfectly adequate to deal with the eurozone crisis. Speaking in Warsaw, Mr Kenny admitted there had been a lot of discussion among eurozone leaders about where the crisis was headed, and that there would be a good deal more discussion before heads of government meet in mid October. When asked if he supports Treaty change in order to facilitate a deeper …

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Frau Bundeskanzlerin calls for coercive powers (aka a nascent transfer union)…

Just been sent a translation of an interview given on German TV by the Frau Bundeskanzlerin, aka Angela Merkel: “The Chancellor sees no alternative to the euro and calls again, on Gunther Jauch”s show, for a commitment to the stabilisation of Greece. Regarding the debt-crisis, Merkel very clearly demanded a strengthening of the stabilisation-responsibilities. For this purpose, she said, “there must be a mechanism, for the future, giving the right to intervene and coerce.” “We must work,” she went on,”for …

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Euro crisis: “It is a debt crisis but a crisis, too, of legitimacy.”

Credit ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded two major French banks ahead of crisis talks between President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou.  BBC business editor, and still everyone’s hero, Robert Peston explains why.  And Greece isn’t their only concern.  Nor are they the only ones taking an interest.  [Adds – More on the interest elsewhere].  The Guardian’s business blog is live-blogging today’s events… And, even though they “know how difficult a treaty change will be”, that’s precisely what …

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Euro crisis: “even though we know how difficult a treaty change will be”

Whilst the Eurogroup continues working “on a proposal”, there are some other snippets to note. The IMF has announced it is releasing almost €1.5billion to Ireland as part of the EU-IMF financial aid package for the country.  Apparently the Irish government has maintained “resolute implementation” of the economic restructuring programme, and is “ahead of schedule in some areas”. Not so Greece.  The Irish Times’ Arthur Beesley informs us that the EU-IMF inspectors have “unexpectedly left Greece yesterday after the emergence of divisions …

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Jean-Claude Juncker: “The Eurogroup is working on a proposal, which I hope all eurozone member states will be happy with”

A quick update from Brussels on the crisis in the euro-zone where Finland’s demand for collateral in return for financial aid to Greece is, as the New York Times reported, threatening the “fragile consensus”.  [Offer them an island or two! – Ed]  I don’t think that would cover it… The BBC reports that European Central Bank (ECB) president, Jean-Claude Trichet, wants European governments to get back to work quickly. “The full and timely implementation of the July 21 agreement between heads …

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Sarkozy: “We have to converge. The status quo is impossible.”

Frau Bundeskanzlerin and the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, emerged from their bunker yesterday to call for “true economic governance” for the eurozone.  As Derek Scally reports in the Irish Times Mr Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel presented joint proposals for further reforms and euro zone integration after meeting in Paris yesterday, calling them essential steps to end ongoing instability. “To strengthen the euro as our common currency, it is clear that we will need a closer interlocking of economic and financial …

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Euro crisis: “When preserving the status quo is no longer a viable option…”

The Italian government is facing internal dissent over the terms and conditions of the European Central Bank’s “sticking plaster”.  Meanwhile, in the Irish Times, another supporter of the “European Project”, Thomas Klau, referencing the recent FT article by Otmar Issing I mentioned, at least identifies the fundamental area for discussion. In the English-language debate particularly, the relationship between democracy and European integration is often most vigorously argued about by Eurosceptics. It is essential for advocates of deeper European integration not …

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Euro crisis: “Que Sera Sera…”

The European Central Bank’s “sticking plaster” appears to have had the desired effect of alleviating pressure on Spanish and Italian government bonds.  For now.  As BBC business editor, and still everyone’s hero, Robert Peston, observes It would have been utterly disastrous if there had been any other outcome. Because – for the avoidance of any doubt – the ECB is taking a substantial reputational and financial risk in buying the debt of these nations: many will see the ECB as …

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Barroso: “Nobody should be under any illusion: the situation is very serious”

Everyone’s got something to say ahead of tomorrow’s emergency EU summit on the existential European debt crisis.  Whether you believe any of them is another matter entirely… Taoiseach Enda Kenny is echoing Frau Bundeskanzlerin. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he is also hopeful that Ireland will be on the agenda at tomorrow’s meeting. However, in a statement issued today, Mr Kenny said he did not believe the meeting would solve all of the euro zone’s problems. “The crisis in the euro area …

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Euro crisis: “everything those leaders have done, after large amounts of dithering, has ended up making the situation worse.”

That’s the BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders quoted above, by the way.  Which brings me back to Thursday’s emergency summit called by European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy “Our agenda will be the financial stability of the euro area as a whole and the future financing of the Greek programme,” said Mr Van Rompuy in a brief statement last night. [Friday 15th July] Perhaps…  But Frau Bundeskanzlerin, who reportedly wasn’t as keen on the summit being called, has been playing down expectations …

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“We are all witnesses to the game.”

The Irish Times‘ Arthur Beesley reports that EU Council president, Herman Van Rompuy, was accused by MEPs of being less than honest in his account of the Council’s discussion of Frau Bundeskanzlerin’s “grand bargain”.  From the Irish Times report MEPs criticised Mr Van Rompuy’s positive tone, one of them saying it smacked of Soviet-era propaganda. “We’re getting feedback as if everything had gone swimmingly, that wonderful results had been achieved,” said German Green Rebecca Harms. “It’s a bit like the …

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“Yet another crucial moment in the debt drama is upon us.”

EU leaders are meeting in Brussels today, including caretaking Taoiseach Brian Cowen, and the Irish Times‘ Derek Scally has had sight of a draft paper on Frau Bundeskanzlerin’s “grand bargain”. From the Irish Times report The draft paper is low on detail but high on ambition: “to create a permanent connection between European competitiveness, growth and viable financial politics”. After presenting the broad brush strokes today, Dr Merkel wants EU leaders to discuss the detail and fill in the canvas by …

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Frau Bundeskanzlerin’s “grand bargain”

The BBC’s Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt, has the latest murmurings from Europe on Frau Bundeskanzlerin’s “grand bargain”.  If true, it could indicate the price to be paid for renegotiating the terms of Ireland’s €85 billion bail-out… From Gavin Hewitt’s Europe blog Much of the detail is still being discussed. There are differences within the German cabinet and between eurozone countries. However, a broad outline is emerging. Germany will agree to increase the lending power of the main bail-out fund (the EFSF) so …

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Euro crisis: Frau Bundeskanzlerin answers history’s knock

History has been knocking for some time…  and, for good or ill, Angela Merkel “is perceived to set policy, pace and tone at every turn.”  But has the public been softened up sufficiently for historic change? In the Irish Times Derek Scally reports from Berlin In recent off-the-record briefings, the German leader has shown an unusual determination for the task she has set herself. She wants “real harmonisation”, not just “closer co-ordination”. After months of silent backing for her euro zone strategy, leaders in Scandinavia …

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Euro crisis: “Slowly the public is being softened up for historic change.”

While the euro crisis rumbles on, and with Frau Bundeskanzlerin promising that “We will do what is necessary, everything else will be discussed step by step”, the BBC’s Europe editor, Gavin Hewitt, wonders “what democracy in Europe means”… If the eurozone group of countries heads towards fiscal union then a further question will surely follow. Can you have fiscal union without political union? Slowly the public is being softened up for historic change. President Sarkozy was not a lone voice when he …

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