Thursday 23 November 2017

Emergency euro summit a possibility – Van Rompuy

Independent.ie reporters

EU finance leaders may hold an emergency summit on Friday following the results of the latest EU bank stress tests as they also fought to stop the contagion of the Greek debt crisis.

EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy said he had not yet made up his mind, but added that "such a meeting could not be excluded."

The EU is testing 91 major banks, including Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and Irish Life & Permanent, to see how they could cope with a future economic shock.

But some analysts fear the results could damage matters further as the finance ministers of the 17 eurozone countries are also attempting

For their part, EU commission finance chief Olli Rehn and Polish finance minister Jacek Rostowski after a meeting of the 27 EU finance ministers on Tuesday did their best to allay worries.

"It's essential that we provide the solution as the same time that we identify the problem," Rehn said.

Rostowski, speaking for the Polish EU presidency, noted: "Today we spent most of our time going over those measures [private or public sector bailouts for troubled banks], to make sure every member state is ready and up to speed."

The 17 euro-using countries' finance ministers earlier on Monday night failed to agree details of a second bailout package for Greece. The meeting instead convoked a 'Eurogroup Working Group' to look at how to manage Greek borrowing, with a formal communique saying the taskforce should report back "shortly".

In a sign of growing bad feeling inside the currency club, the Greek leader himself on Monday lambasted the EU's treatment of the Greek problem.

"We risk new, and possibly global, market calamities due to a contagion of doubt that will could engulf our common union. Strong and visionary European leadership is needed," George Papanderou wrote in a public letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the eurogroup, the euro-using countries' club.

"Crunch time has arrived and there is no room for indecisiveness and errors such as: taking decisions that in the end prove 'too little, too late' to convince the markets we are serious ... [or] allowing a cacophony of voices and views to substitute for a shared agenda, thereby creating more panic than security."

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