David Cameron set for Eurozone summit

Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived in Brussels for another summit after risking the wrath of French President Nicolas Sarkozy with a new call to eurozone leaders to solve the crisis once and for all.

The pair clashed at last weekend's summit when Mr Sarkozy told Mr Cameron he was sick of Britain telling the others what to do about the problem while refusing to join the single currency project.



Today in the Commons before leaving for Brussels, Mr Cameron called once again for "decisive" action on Greece, a "proper recapitalisation" of the banks and a "firewall" to prevent contagion spreading.



He won the argument to attend the latest emergency meeting - but only for a brief gathering of the 27 leaders, after which the 17 eurozone heads will show the others out and settle in for what could be marathon talks to finalise economic rescue plans.



At that point Mr Cameron is planning talks with leaders of other key non-eurozone member states, including Poland, Sweden, Denmark and the Czech Republic.



Then he will fly on to Australia for a long-scheduled visit, having already cancelled the Japanese and New Zealand legs of his tour to attend the EU meeting.



At a noisy session of Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Cameron insisted: "What is absolutely necessary this evening is to deal with the key elements of the eurozone crisis, which is acting as a drag anchor on recoveries in many other countries including our own."



But Labour leader Ed Miliband said Monday's Tory rebellion over an EU referendum had undermined Mr Cameron's influence at this evening's summit.

"We have a Prime Minister who has spent the last week pleading with his backbenchers, not leading for Britain," said Mr Miliband.



Downing Street said Mr Cameron had been determined to be in Brussels to "feed in" Britain's views.



But the real focus was on the powerhouse couple of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Sarkozy, leading efforts to resolve their deep personal differences and steer the 17 eurozone members towards a deal which contains big enough figures to impress jittery markets that the EU is getting to grips with the problem of containing the Greek debt crisis and putting in place enough safeguards to cope with any future economic shocks.



Today was described last weekend as the day for final decisions - but even before the latest negotiating got under way officials in Brussels were dampening down expectations, insisting the talks were part of an ongoing process to resolve the crisis with a lasting set of measures.



Downing Street talking of a G20 summit in Cannes in early November as the real deadline, with more EU-level ministerial meetings on the cards in the next few days.



Ahead of the eurozone summit, the German parliament voted in favour of strengthening the EU's bailout fund - a boost for Mrs Merkel and a lift for talks which seem to remain divided on crucial details of a three-point plan to crack the crisis.



A provisional agreement is already in place on the recapitalisation of Europe's most exposed banks - none in the UK - to the tune of about 100 billion euro (£87 billion). Many financial experts say at least half as much again will be needed to convince markets that they are well insulated against further economic shocks.



On the second plank, disputes over efforts to leverage an existing 440 billion euro (£383 billion) bailout fund to boost its lending capacity above one trillion euro (£869 billion) may have receded thanks to the German parliament vote, although a figure has not been finalised. If it is agreed it should demonstrate determination to respond to any more Greek-style meltdowns.



And a decision is still awaited on a demand that private investors - mainly banks - absorb at least a 50% write-off of their loans to Greece. A consortium of global banks has so far suggested 40%, but that has been rejected.



Meanwhile, the spectre of a debt-laden Italy was hanging over the talks, with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi facing demands to act on austerity measures in return for financial aid.



The fear is that a Greek-style crisis in Italy will be totally unaffordable for Europe, and make the scale of financial support for Athens look like pocket money.







PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Solution Architect - Contract

£500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...

360 Resourcing Solutions: Export Sales Coordinator

£18k - 20k per year: 360 Resourcing Solutions: ROLE: Export Sales Coordinato...

Recruitment Genius: B2B Telesales Executive - OTE £35,000+

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest developer of mobile...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue
E L James's book Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

It's hard to understand why so many are buying it – but then best-selling was ever an inexact science, says DJ Taylor
Behind the scenes of the world's most experimental science labs

World's most experimental science labs

The photographer Daniel Stier has spent four years gaining access to some of the world's most curious scientific experiments
It's the stroke of champions - so why is the single-handed backhand on the way out?

Single-handed backhand: on the way out?

If today's young guns wish to elevate themselves to the heights of Sampras, Graf and Federer, it's time to fire up the most thrilling shot in tennis
HMS Saracen: Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled

HMS Saracen

Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'

7/7 bombings 10 years on

Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'