Belfast Telegraph

Kenny demands decisiveness on euro

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has demanded decisiveness from EU leaders at top-level crisis talks on the economy.

Setting off for Brussels, Mr Kenny said measures needed to agreed to tackle the deepening uncertainty that could be rubber-stamped by the middle of next week.

The heads of state and government of the 17 eurozone countries will gather for a summit on Sunday in a bid to resolve the region's worsening debt problems. It was hoped to come up with a comprehensive recovery plan at the talks but divisions between Germany and France on the best way forward have led to a second summit being called for Wednesday.

"It is important that this weekend's meeting of Euro Area leaders in Brussels arrives at political decisions that can subsequently be endorsed at the eurozone meeting on Wednesday," said Mr Kenny. "Decisiveness must be shown by all leaders in finding solutions to the current crisis so that much needed confidence can be restored to markets and certainty provided for all citizens of the EU."

It is expected some member states will have to go back to their national parliaments during the first half of next week with any deal reached at the talks.

A hectic series of EU meetings likely to last until at least Wednesday began on Saturday with talks between the 17 eurozone finance ministers.

Amid growing fears that the Greek crisis is even worse than feared, they approved another slice of bail-out aid and, according to eurozone leader and Luxembourg prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, paved the pay for a massive 50% write-down of Greek debt to ease the country's burden.

Al 27 finance ministers are assessing the broader picture and abscessing the risk of "contagion" from Greece to other, much bigger economies, including Italy.

They are also finalising plans for a recapitalisation of banks, making them better placed to withstand future economic shocks.

The key to success at Sunday's meeting of EU leaders could be a private meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Brussels later. They are in the driving seat but have clashed in the last few days over the details of shoring up the euro and persuading jittery financial markets that single currency is solid.

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