Monday

22nd Jul 2019

Top eurozone officials meet amid alarm on Italy

  • Barroso (l) and Van Rompuy - market events are outpacing slow-moving political discussions (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

Top eurozone officials are meeting on Monday (11 July) morning to discuss the debt crisis in the 17-nation single currency region amid concerns that it could spread to Italy.

European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet, EU monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn, eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker and Jose Manuel Barroso, the head of the European Commission, are attending the specially-convened event in Brussels.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The meeting, called by European council President Herman Van Rompuy, is expected to focus on the second bailout for Greece and its implications for broader eurozone stability.

Discussions on the fresh Greek package stalled earlier this month over disagreement on the nature of private creditor involvement.

At the time, it was said talks would probably restart in September, after the summer recess. But events once again overtook the political process - Van Rompuy called the event on Saturday, the day after Italian stock markets suffered a dramatic fall of 3.5 percent.

Markets became jittery after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi publicly criticised his widely-respected finance minister Giulio Tremonti.

There is also concern about the health of Italian banks, with the results of EU stress tests due out on Friday. At the end of last week, the premium which Italy pays to borrow money compared with Germany's soared to its highest point since the eurozone came into being.

Monday morning's extraordinary meeting comes ahead of an earlier-scheduled meeting of eurozone finance ministers in the evening.

The Financial Times reports that eurozone leaders are for the first time to accept that Athens will default on some of its bonds as a part of the second bailout.

With talks on the new package still at an early stage, the paper says the new measures could see a further lowering of interest rates on the bailout loans in a concession to Athens.

Italy: Euro crisis meeting could strain coalition

Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi's coalition government is to face a major test at 6pm local time on Monday, when ministers meet to push through austerity measures under pressure from fellow EU leaders.

Italian 'national consensus' urgent, says Brussels

The European Commission has called on Italy to build a "national consensus" between political parties and with the unions to assure the implementation of austerity measures and structural adjustment in the wake of a surprise downgrade in the country’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s.

Podcast

Abortion Wars

Pressures on women to avoid terminating unwanted pregnancies have been growing in countries including Croatia, Poland and Romania.

Agenda

EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK

Boris Johnson is almost certain to become the UK's next prime minister, and oversee Brexit until the 31 October deadline, as work in the EU bubble is winding down for the summer.

News in Brief

  1. AKK to boost Bundeswehr budget to Nato target
  2. Police arrest 25 after Polish LGBT-march attack
  3. Ukrainian president's party tops parliament election
  4. EU interior ministers to meet in Paris on migration
  5. Schinas nominated as Greek commissioner
  6. Sea-Watch captain hopes for change in EU migrant rules
  7. Russia willing to join EU payment scheme on Iran deal
  8. Commission fines US chipmaker for second time

Agenda

EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK

Boris Johnson is almost certain to become the UK's next prime minister, and oversee Brexit until the 31 October deadline, as work in the EU bubble is winding down for the summer.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. As Johnson set to become PM, ministers pledge to resign
  2. Poland's PiS prepares 'failsafe' for October election
  3. Abortion Wars
  4. EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK
  5. Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules
  6. Von der Leyen signals soft touch on migrants, rule of law
  7. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law
  8. Timmermans trolls 'idiot' Brexit negotiators

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us