More details are coming through about the meeting between finance ministers of Germany, France, Italy and Spain in Paris later today.
“We want to work with Germany,” Moscovici told France Info radio, asked about the pressure on President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to reach an agreement on ways to curb the spiralling eurozone crisis.
“Tomorrow there is a meeting, which will be very important, between Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel and this evening I will receive the finance ministers: Mr. Schaeuble from Germany, Mr. Monti or Mr. Grilli of Italy and Mr. de Guindos of Spain along with the European Commissioner,” Moscovici said.
“We are in an active phase of preparation of this summit.”
Hollande wants measures like mutualised debt and joint bank deposit guarantees to be worked on at the same time as moves towards deeper fiscal integration, while Merkel, wants an accord on closer integration before any other steps are taken.
We’ve got quite a busy day ahead of us, here’s a selection of the key events (all times are BST):
• 9:30am: Spanish and Italian bond auctions.
• 9:30am: Spain’s finance minister is up before parliament to explain the bailout.
• 9:30am: Public sector net borrowing figures for May are expected to have reached £16-16.5bn, compared with £15bn in May last year.
• 10:00am: Mervyn King is speaking in front of a Treasury select committee.
• Unspecified time: The finance ministers of Germany, France, Spain and Italy are meeting in advance of the EU summit on Thursday and Friday.
The Greek English language paper Kathimerini reckons it knows who’s going to replace Vassilis Rapanos as finance minister.
Let’s hope the new guy lasts longer than Rapanos, who resigned yesterday due to ill health less than a week after being appointed to the post.
The Guardian’s Europe editor, Ian Traynor, has got hold of a copy of the gang of four’s master plan for the future of Europe and the Euro.
Ian says the seven-page document from the four presidents – Herman Van Rompuy of the European Council, Mario Draghi of ECB, Jose Manuel Barroso of the European commission, and Jean-Claude Juncker of 17-country Eurogroup – details a 10-year plan based on 4 “building blocks” – banking union, fiscal union, economic union, political union.
Ian’s writing up a full story now, but in the meantime, he’s posted the key points on Twitter.
The BBC’s Gavin Hewitt reckons the finance ministers of the power players – Germany, Spain, Italy and France – are going to get down to business a couple of days early.
As all eyes turn towards the Europe Union summit on Thursday and Friday, the FT claims to have seen a draft report which could give the EU sweeping powers to rewrite national budgets for eurozone countries that breach debt and deficit rules.
The proposals are part of an ambitious plan to turn the eurozone into a closer fiscal union, giving Brussels more powers to serve like a finance ministry for all 17 members of the currency union. They are contained in a report to be presented at the summit, which will also outline plans for a banking union and political union.
Read the full FT story here (£)
Good morning and welcome back to our coverage of another day of high drama in Europe.
Last night Moody’s hit Spain, again. This time the rating agency downgraded 28 of the country’s banks. Moody’s latest salvo came just hours after the Spanish government finally formally asked for help from its European neighbours in cleaning up its stricken banking sector. It hasn’t said how much dosh it wants, but did stress that stressed that the €62bn top figure provided last week by two independent auditors of Spain’s banking system would cover against a severe downturn in the next three years – suggesting their request may not go much higher than that.
The world is also still reeling from the news that Cyprus has joined the unhappy club to ask for a bailout. To recap, that’s Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus – quite the Club Med special. Who’s going to be next, do you reckon?