Thursday 22 February 2018

Luke Baker: Bleary-eyed, crumpled but smiling ... how euro zone negotiators cut the deal

THEY were bleary-eyed in their crumpled suits early on Friday morning, but euro zone negotiators were smiling after a hard-fought night of talks that struck a surprisingly far-reaching deal to prop up the euro.

An agreement to let the euro zone's rescue funds directly recapitalise banks - something Spain has long held out for - went substantially beyond what almost all diplomats and finance officials expected going into the two-day summit.

It also crossed a red-line that Germany had set down, indicating that Chancellor Angela Merkel had to give ground after being backed into a corner - some said held hostage - by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Spain's Mariano Rajoy.

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