'Everything possible' to be done to protect the eurozone

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on 4 July Angela Merkel and Mario Monti discussed the eurozone crisis on Sunday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti have said they will do "everything possible to protect the eurozone".

The comments came in a joint statement following a telephone conversation on Sunday.

They echo remarks from French President Francois Hollande and European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi.

It has increased speculation that the ECB could resume its programme of buying up Spanish bonds.

The remarks came the day before a visit from US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

On Monday, he will be meeting German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble before flying to Frankfurt to meet Mario Draghi.

Markets rallied on Thursday following Mr Draghi's supportive comments.

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The US Treasury Secretary's whirlwind visits to the people who matter in eurozone monetary policy has raised speculation still further that policy is changing quietly, with German approval. The difficulty is that if it's not, last week's stock market optimism might be suddenly deflated.”

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The BBC's Stephen Evans in Berlin said that Mr Geithner's whirlwind visit combined with the remarks from eurozone leaders had raised speculation still further that a quiet change of policy was underway.

Eurozone leaders agreed in a summit at the end of June that they would allow their rescue fund to intervene on bond markets.

But since then there has been growing doubt as to whether the ECB could buy bonds from troubled economies if the eurozone's richest country, Germany, opposed the policy.

There may be further signs of the support that some eurozone economies need on Monday, when Italy auctions three, five and 10-year bonds.

Monday will also see the release of the first estimate of whether Spain's economy grew or contracted in the three months from April to June.

It is expected to show that Spain's recession continued.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 451.

    @441 (and 436)
    A bit of both I think
    Things will change but as in the old adage that armies always train for the war they last fought, people can only see things changing in a way they can reference. The truth is when change comes it will be nothing like how people expect but all will go "oh, of course!"

  • rate this

    Comment number 450.


    Argentina, the Iraq, Afghanistan and FYR don't have nuclear weapons. It was always in our hands to stop the escalation before that and we didn't lose any of those wars. An all our war with someone who refuses to lose and has those weapons would be a very different story.

    No one wages war on a nuclear capable country. Never ever. Now you see why Iran are so keen to get them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 449.

    The EU has not prevented any war, most nations were too broke and had no appetite for war after ww2. Taking away the independence of nations, trying to force all cultures into a one size fits all and the dominance of one or two countries however will breed resentment - one only has to look at the Soviet and Yugoslav models to see how this could go. The signs of discontent are already there

  • rate this

    Comment number 448.

    Greece and Spain were great nations like England long before the EU existed and the bond markets existed what the ordinary people across the whole of Europe need to do is take over their nations from their own elites and tell the EU bureaucrat elites and the finacial elites to do one.Add your comment...

  • rate this

    Comment number 447.


    Armchair revolutionaries predicting violent strife followed by errrr...justice and prosperity.

    When has whining bitterly over their keyboards ever changed anything? The most likely event is not a popular revolt against the mechanisms of capitalism. Rather a revulsion at bailing out, ad infinitum, Club Med countries who have voted themselves a high old time over the past 20 years.


Comments 5 of 451


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