Thursday November 27, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
12o C
9o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
EU leaders commit to resolution mechanism for banks, closer union

By Luke Baker & Paul Taylor

European leaders agreed to press on with further steps to shore up their finances and sustain momentum in tackling the debt crisis on Friday, a day after clinching a deal on banking supervision and approving long-delayed aid to Greece.

After more than eight hours of late-night talks at a summit in Brussels, leaders promised to push ahead with setting up a mechanism to wind down problem banks, although it was unclear when the facility would be completed.

They also launched tentative discussions on how to make countries stick to economic targets and on creating a «solidarity fund» to help member states suffering one-off economic shocks, but did not delve deeply into either issue, pushing the debate out to the middle of next year.

With officials concerned about complacency creeping into decision-making now that financial markets have calmed and the crisis seems less acute, leaders appeared intent on showing that they are not relaxing.

That said, no concrete decisions were taken at the summit. Instead, it was more about verbal commitments to push ahead.

"This evening we decided to put in place a single resolution mechanism,» Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council and chairman of the summit, told a news conference.

The European Commission will present a proposal on the mechanism, which would wind-up troubled banks by keeping the good parts alive while the unhealthy operations are shut down, during 2013, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.

French President Francois Hollande told reporters the mechanism would «see the light of day» during the year, but it was not clear whether he expected it to be functioning by then or merely be in the early stages of construction.

"We agreed a roadmap for the future development of the currency union,» said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, without going into detail about the discussions.

The two-day summit, the sixth and last of 2012, had only ever been intended to be a detailed discussion on how best to overhaul economic and monetary union and correct the problems that have fuelled three years of debt crisis.

The meeting was held just hours after EU finance ministers achieved a significant breakthrough in negotiations over a 'banking union' by agreeing that the European Central Bank would be made the chief supervisor of euro zone banks.

That decision, and another by euro zone ministers to release up to 50 billion euros in new aid to Greece, marked two positive developments after a long year of crisis-management and took some of the pressure off leaders to make major strides.

ECB President Mario Draghi hailed the deal on banking supervision, the first stage towards a banking union with more pooled sovereignty, as an important step towards a stable economic and monetary union.

Under the deal, officials said the ECB would regulate some 150 to 200 banks directly - all major cross-border lenders and state aided institutions - with the power to delve into all 6,000 banks in case of problems.

Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, said «Cassandras» who had predicted disaster for the euro and a Greek exit had been proven wrong.

But there is little time to relax. The next stages of banking union - creating a resolution fund for winding up troubled banks and coordinating deposit guarantees to protect savers - may be fought over even harder. And then there will be political and financial hurdles to negotiate through the year.

"The fact that the situation in the financial markets is now better than before should not be seen by the governments as a way to procrastinate,» European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters.

Much of southern Europe faces another year of grinding recession with record unemployment and deepening poverty that will tear at the fabric of wounded societies and may push governments' efforts to reduce deficits further off course.

With Silvio Berlusconi vowing to contest an Italian election early next year, a full bailout of Spain still on the cards and a German election in September casting a long shadow, 2013 promises to be the EU's fourth turbulent year in a row, even without risks from bailout victims Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Italy is a particular concern if the next government rows back on any of the economic reforms put in place by technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti, whose time in office has helped stabilise financial markets and stave off the crisis.

Several participants at a pre-summit meeting of centre-right leaders in Brussels urged Monti to stand as a candidate in an election expected in February, but he gave no indication of his intentions, a person at the meeting said.

Many European leaders fear a return of the erratic billionaire Berlusconi, who abruptly changed course on Wednesday, saying he would step aside if Monti agreed to lead the centre-right into the election.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Friday December 14, 2012 (10:09)  
Hundreds of migrants on crippled ship off Crete
Policemen suspected of working at Piraeus bar where shooting took place
Ankara proposes private firm to seek natural gas off Cyprus
Further tension builds up at universities
Debtors snap up offer for easier settlements
The government’s plan for the settlement debts to the state is paying off as Greeks are signing up in numbers for the more favorable payment scheme. In less than 24 hours since the opening o...
Belgium gas firm said to be eyeing DESFA
Belgian natural gas network operator Fluxys is said to be eyeing the Greek gas grid, after signing an agreement on Monday with its Greek counterpart (DESFA) for the drafting of a study on th...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Atletico eyes last 16 berth against Olympiakos
Greek champion Olympiakos faces a tough task if it is to prevent last season's beaten finalist Atletico Madrid sealing its passage into the last 16 of the Champions League at the Vicente Cal...
SOCCER
EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
Soccer action will resume this weekend after the Super League convened on Monday, elected a new president and alternate president and sent a letter to the soccer federation that assures it t...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Beware of the fallen idols
Akis Tsochatzopoulos, a legendary figure of the Greek socialist movement, a man who came very close to taking over the party that governed the country for half of the time following the fall...
EDITORIAL
The hard truth
The coalition government must tell the truth to the Greek people, even if this entails admitting to mistakes made over the last few months. The country’s citizens are fully aware of how cruc...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Hundreds of migrants on crippled ship off Crete
2. Atletico eyes last 16 berth against Olympiakos
3. Debtors snap up offer for easier settlements
4. Belgium gas firm said to be eyeing DESFA
5. OLP approval paves way for investment in Piraeus
6. Airport tender exceeds expectations
more news
Today
This Week
1. Anastasiades to undergo heart surgery in the US on Dec 4
2. Two police officers among 9 arrested for drug trafficking
3. Cargo vessel carrying hundreds of migrants adrift southeast of Crete
4. Trade deficit widens by 8.7 percent during Jan-Sept period, says ELSTAT report
5. Fraport, Copelouzos offer highest bid for Greek regional airports
6. Stop Mediterranean becoming vast migrant cemetery, Pope tells Europe
Today
This Week
1. Give Greece a chance
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
4. Extremism from a bygone era
5. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
6. Cosco’s Greek unit adds multinational rail-freight client
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.