Cameron joins talks on Euro crisis


Prime Minister David Cameron and fellow EU leaders are bidding for more progress today in the latest of a series of meetings to crack the economic crisis.

A summit in Brussels will try to break the deadlock over plans for a massive increase in EU bailout funds to reassure markets that Europe can deal with any more eurozone meltdowns.

And EU leaders want to advance plans for a 50% write-down of Greek debt repayment in another bid to stabilise the single currency and restore calm.

Coupled with yesterday's "real progress" at separate talks on capitalising EU banks, the moves mark a major new effort to restore confidence in the single market.

But the summit is not the last word - another summit is already scheduled for next Wednesday and more meetings of the 17 eurozone countries and all 27 EU financial ministers and leaders are on the cards before the EU delivers its agreed plan for stopping the economic rot.

Strengthening banks to withstands future economic shocks, topping up existing bail-out funds and slashing Greek debt repayments - are now seen as the key elements in a package of measures German chancellor Angela Merkel said last night should be finalised at the Wednesday meetings.

She was speaking before a crunch dinner in Brussels last night with French president Nicolas Sarkozy in a bid to sink their deep differences over how to finance the programme and, crucially, how to ensure the moves do not revive public backlashes in Paris and Berlin.

Also at dinner were the heads of the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, plus the presidents of the European Commission and European Council.

Leaving Brussels yesterday after 10 hours of gruelling talks at which finance ministers reached provisional agreement on bank recapitalisation to the tune of 100 billion euros (£87bn), Chancellor George Osborne commented: "Britain will keep up pressure in the next few days for a comprehensive package to resolve the European crisis and to make sure that we get jobs and growth."

Before Mr Cameron arrived today to take up the next stage of a hastily-choreographed series of talks, his spokesman said: "We have got to come up with a resolution. These are difficult problems and we recognise that. We want to see these issues dealt with as quickly as possible and we want to see them dealt with comprehensively.

"Ultimately these are eurozone issues but we are doing what we can to try to help move things forward."

The UK Government backs Germany in targeting Wednesday for firm decisions - although the ultimate deadline is put by some as a G20 summit in Cannes in less than a fortnight, when world leaders gather to discuss the global financial crisis.

However, deal until Cannes -assuming one is possible at all - would fuel market turmoil, as well as being impractical because not all of the 17 eurozone members are part of the shape of a deal, it must be "credible and sustainable".

An immediate stumbling block is banking lobby resistance to bearing the burden of a 50% Greek write-down, something ministers hope will be a voluntary agreement.

And Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy know they face a domestic backlash if they expand a current 440 billion euro (£383bn) bail-out fund to a figure about two trillion euros (£1.74 trillion).

It is a figure number-crunchers believe the markets will see as a sign of determination to get on top of the crisis.

But it exposes taxpayers, especially in Germany and France, to potentially huge extra liabilities via their national budgets.

It is a worry that Mr Cameron does not have as, from a safe haven beyond the eurozone, he urges fellow leaders today to do what needs to be done and do it quickly.


FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam