Officials call for power to change eurozone countries’ budgets

TOP European officials have called for the power to demand changes to eurozone countries’ national budgets, as part of a grand vision to save the currency.

The move came as finance chiefs of the eurozone’s four biggest economies were last night due to hold last-minute talks in Paris to try to narrow differences on the currency area’s future after Cyprus became the fifth country to request a bailout.

Ministers from Germany, France, Italy and Spain were expected to discuss proposals for closer long-term fiscal and banking integration to prepare for a European Union summit starting tomorrow.

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European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said the proposed creation of a European treasury, which would have powers over national budgets was “a defining moment for European integration”. The plan was drawn up by the “gang of four” presidents: Mr Barroso, council president Herman Van Rompuy, Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Central Bank president Mario Draghi.