Friday, January 28, 2011

Europe’s Debt Crisis: More Flare-Ups, But Euro Breakup Unlikely

by Steve Schaefer


January 27, 2011

At a Tuesday conference headlined by German deputy finance minister Joerg Asmussen, a slew of panelists debated the current state of the European Union, whether the common currency could go the way of the dodo and the best methods for investors to play the uncertain debt picture on the continent.

The Bloomberg European Debt Crisis Conference convened amid the artwork at Manhattan’s Rubin Museum, but it was Asmussen who drew the crowd at a time when the German government is in position to throw its weight around and demand reform in return for financial aid to other euro zone countries buckling under their debt burdens.

Asmussen set the stage for the European Council meeting in March, telling the audience that euro zone leaders need to deliver a comprehensive package dealing with short-term and long-term issues. Germany remains supportive of the 17-nation euro, Asmussen stressed. The present landscape “is not a crisis of the euro,” he continued, “it is a difficult debt situation in some euro zone countries.”


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