Tuesday 26 September 2017

Julien Toyer and Thorsten Severin: Gaping rift between Germany and the other big players on eve of crucial summit

French President Francois Hollande with German Chancellor Angela Merkel
French President Francois Hollande with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

EUROPEAN leaders sound unusually divided before a high-stakes summit, with Germany's Angela Merkel saying total debt liability would not be shared in her lifetime and giving little support to Italian and Spanish pleas for immediate crisis action.

Rome and Madrid have seen their borrowing costs spiral to a level which for Spain at least would not be sustainable as it battles to recapitalise banks ravaged by a burst property bubble and cut a towering government deficit.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Wednesday he would ask other European Union leaders to allow the bloc's bailout funds or the European Central Bank to stabilise financial markets.

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