Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eurozone under pressure to find solution to the debt crisis

An emergency summit of the European Union has been postponed by six days to October 23, giving German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy the necessary time to develop a comprehensive coordinated approach to the debt crisis in Europe, in cooperation with EU President Herman Van Rompuy.

The crisis is clearly putting solidarity within the 17-nation currency zone and the EU to the test.

Whatever master plan the leaders come up with will be difficult to realize: ever since the finance and debt crisis took hold of Europe, there have been leadership changes in seven of the 17 eurozone countries.

Elections are coming up in three more states - including Slovakia, where the ruling coalition fell after parliament in Bratislava earlier this week rejected the first proposal to ratify a deal to bolster the eurozone emergency fund.

Political turmoil

Italy is also looking at a confidence vote in Silvio Berlusconi's government. Sarkozy has lost his majority in the senate, just months ahead of presidential elections in France.

In Germany, the government coalition is at odds over the euro crisis. Belgium is ruled by an interim government, the Netherlands by a minority government. Only four eurozone member states can boast a truly stable government: Luxembourg, Austria, Estonia and Malta.

It takes just one glance at the political map of eurozone countries to realize the difficulties of pushing through bailout fund deals when EU summits are attended by ever-changing ranks of government leaders. more