German chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian prime minister Mario Monti will “do everything” to protect the eurozone and swiftly implement measures agreed by European leaders in June, their governments said in a statement yesterday.
The wording of the statement, issued after the pair discussed the eurozone crisis in a phone call on Saturday, echoed a pledge made by Merkel and French president François Hollande on Friday and the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi on Thursday.
European leaders have gone on the offensive in recent days, underlining their commitment to tackling the eurozone’s crippling debt problems and seeking to restore calm after a week in which Spanish bond yields hit euro-era highs and Greece raised concern it would be unable to honour its bailout conditions and could exit the euro.
Draghi’s comments were read by markets as an indication that the ECB may revive its programme of buying bonds of troubled governments on the secondary market.
Near-bankrupt Greece is desperately struggling to make savings. Its creditors are currently in Athens to assess progress and decide whether to keep it hooked up to a financial lifeline.
Greek politicians have agreed most of the austerity measures demanded by creditors, a source close to talks said yesterday, and politicians were now eyeing pension and wage cuts to find the final savings still needed.
German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said there was no room for any more concessions for Greece.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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