José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, has appealed to EU leaders to reach an agreement on measures to contain the eurozone’s debt crisis when they meet for emergency talks tomorrow (21 July).
Barroso said the eurozone’s situation “is very serious”, warning that “the negative consequences” of not responding now would “be felt in all corners of Europe and beyond”.
Barroso said the leaders had to agree on an “ambitious and comprehensive” package of measures to help Greece and to prevent the debt crisis from spreading further across the eurozone.
“They have said they will do what it takes to ensure the stability of the euro area. Well, now is the time to make good on that promise,” Barroso said of the leaders. “A solution will require that all actors will exercise their responsibility to the full.”
He said that the meeting should “provide clarity” on five points, including their plans for a second bail-out for Greece and the possible burden placed on the private sector.
He argued that the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the eurozone’s €440 billion bail-out fund, should be made more flexible, and said that measures were needed to improve the banking sector and to ensure its liquidity.
Eurozone governments and the European Central Bank are still at odds over how to solve Greece’s debt problems.
In the meantime, the financial markets have started demanding high yields on bonds issued by two of the eurozone’s biggest economies, Italy and Spain, reflecting concerns about their level of debt.
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