Crisis:Top 4 of eurozone in Paris,Berlin open to spread move

Considering Monti's proposal. Final sprint before EU summit

27 June, 11:10

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti

(ANSAmed) - PARIS - On the day in which Angela Merkel dug in her heels against the possibility of the sharing on debt (thereby heating up the atmosphere 48 hours before the crucial EU summit), Germany decided to yield a bit, opening up to the possibility of using the European Save-States Fund as a spread stabilisation mechanism for the most ''virtuous countries. During the Paris summit of finance ministers from the top four countries of the eurozone, sources close to the meeting report, Germany ''opened up cautiously'' to the possibility (brought up by Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti at the G20 summit in Los Cabos) to use the EFSF to bring down steadily rising spreads. It is an idea which was put forward by the Italian government immediately after the bilateral summit in Rome between Monti and French president Francois Hollande and on which Germany's Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble (present yesterday at the Paris mini-Eurogroup meeting) now seems willing to take into consideration. Yesterday evening's talks were intense, a sort of final sprint for the four main economies of the eurozone ahead of the EU heads of state and heads of government meeting set to take place Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici received his Italian, German and Spanish counterparts in the capital ''to actively prepare'' for the summit. From Brussels, well-informed European sources had warned in the afternoon that the Paris meeting would be ''crucial'' to identify anti-crisis measures for the short term, and did not rule out the possibility that the meeting might turn into a teleconference at the Eurogroup level.

However, there was no confirmation of the latter.

The ''work'' meeting had been announced unexpectedly yesterday morning by Moscovici himself on the radio station France Info.

It was a sort of ''reduced'' version of the four-way meeting in Rome, where the leaders of Italy, France, Germany and Spain had asked that about 120-130 billion euros be mobilised to increase growth. Yesterday evening's working dinner came on the eve of today's meeting in Paris between French president Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also in preparation for the EU summit, as well as a special Eurogroup telephone call on Cyprus and Spanish banks. Meanwhile, in France, the government took a different stance on the EU plan officially presented yesterday by Van Rompuy. On BFM TV, French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac said that France and other eurozone countries must agree to ''shared sovereignty'' on some issues, and especially the drawing up of national budgets.

Meanwhile, French Minister for European Affairs Bernard Cazeneuve, who took the side of the 'no' vote in the referendum on the European Constitution, said that ''political integration cannot be the condition for emergency measures'' of the EU.

''First of all there is the need for concrete instruments for growth,'' he warned.(ANSAmed).


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