Four Eurozone Finance Ministers to Meet in Paris

Posted June 26th, 2012 at 5:55 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The finance ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain will discuss the ongoing eurozone sovereign debt crisis Tuesday in Paris.

The meeting is taking place on the eve of joint talks between French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed at reaching some sort of accord before a crucial European Union summit begins Thursday in Brussels.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told a local radio network says the eurozone has begun to move away from the idea of austerity as a means of solving the crisis that threatens the existence of the 17-nation euro currency bloc.

“I will start with growth: on this aspect, the election of Francois Hollande really changed things in Europe. A growth pact has already been adopted, with our propositions, which represents 120- to 130-million euros. These are the right steps. There is also a pact that concerns banks: we have to set up mechanisms for bank recapitalisation which would allow them to face the difficulties of the banking system. And there is integration, which in the end, in the long term, will lead to euro obligations.”

The Paris meeting is taking place as two more eurozone nations, Spain and Cyprus, are seeking bailouts for their financially troubled banks.

Spain is asking for up to $125 billion to rescue banks left holding bad real estate loans, while Cyprus says its banks are vulnerable because of their “large exposure” to the economy in nearby debt-ridden Greece. Cypriot-held Greek government bonds were written down in value earlier this year.

Spain and Cyprus join Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek financial aid from others in the currency bloc.

In Washington, the White House says President Barack Obama spoke Monday with new Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and congratulated him on his election. Mr. Obama urged the prime minister to work closely with the European Union and International Monetary Fund in implementing Greece's economic reform programs.

Mr. Samaras has said he wants to renegotiate the terms of the two multi-billion-dollar EU and IMF bailouts for Greece.

Also Monday, Greece's newly designated finance minister, Vassilis Rapanos, resigned before he could be sworn into office. He was hospitalized Friday after complaining of severe abdominal pain. He wrote in his resignation letter that his health does not permit him to carry out the job.