A minimalist summit

Published on 17 October 2012 at 13:21

“The European Union sketches out some minimum agreements for the summit,” leads El País, covering the meeting of heads of state and EU governments in Brussels set for Thursday and Friday this week. For the Madrid daily, the EU wants to “gain time” to —

... show some clemency to Greece (Athens will have two more years to meet the deficit reduction goals) and finally to negotiate, once and for all, a bail-out for Spain. With the pax romana of the markets, everything is easier: Berlin sent out clear signals yesterday that the deals for Athens and Madrid are very, very close at hand.

Nonetheless, “the risk is obvious,” adds El País

Whenever the Union tries to quietly deal with the problems [...] it ends up in a head-on collision. Or even worse: the markets turn around and start shooting, using the EU's incapacity to react for an excuse. This time, the challenge is to find an appropriate outcome (and the necessary time) for Spain and Greece, and also to agree on the best way to deploy the ECB's double bazooka and the rescue mechanism to end the vicious circle of financial problems and the debt crisis. [...] Avoiding collisions is the house specialty: that's why the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But for that same reason, it's very unlikely that it will win a Nobel Prize in Economics.

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