Monday, February 27, 2012

G-20 to Euro Zone: Sort It Out

by Matina Stevis

Wall Street Journal

February 27, 2012

Delegates from the world’s 20 biggest economies, policy wonks and financiers all brought their diverse and at-times divergent agendas to Mexico City at the weekend, but one common theme emerged: they are fed up with the euro-zone crisis, and the long and bumpy road to fixing it.

Euro-zone officials, including top German, French, Italian and Spanish officials as well as the European Central Bank boss and the European Union economics chief, faced a barrage of questions about beefing up their own rescue fund from their non-European counterparts, who won’t put up any extra cash themselves until there’s progress on expanding the so-called European “firewall.”

The European officials sought some credit for the progress they claim to have made, with the European Union Commissioner for Economics and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn, asking for “sympathy and support.” They got little of that in response.

“The Europeans have been talking for months to erect the necessary firewalls but can’t come to an agreement among themselves… If they can’t clean up their act, they can’t expect money from emerging economies where many countries still deal with acute poverty issues,” said one official from a G-20 nation.


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