Nervy euro summit once more for Nobel-laureate EU

AFP/EUbusiness, 11.12.2012

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Nobel Peace Prize in hand, European leaders meet for a final 2012 summit on Thursday still facing the uncertainties of the debt crisis and with unsettled Italy back in the spotlight. […]

"The euro crisis, I've said it before, is behind us," French President Francois Hollande said after joining Merkel to celebrate the Nobel award in Oslo. […]

"I cannot lift the alert completely," said "prudent optimist" Merkel, after the German central bank said Europe's biggest economy may flirt briefly with recession.

As Merkel keeps a close eye on her voters in the run-up to the polls, what was meant to be a triumphant summit charting ever-closer EU integration in the years ahead may prove disappointing, analysts said.

"There is the sense in Berlin that others are becoming complacent," Janis Emmanouilidis, senior analyst and German specialist at the leading Brussels-based European Policy Centre told AFP.

"There will be a different political wind in Germany from September, even if Merkel gets back in -- but until then, everything is on pause," he said.

"Ultimately, Spain, Italy and eventually France are the variables -- what does France want at a national level? ... With Hollande, there is no way to find a grand bargain before the German election," Emmanouilidis said. […]

Like Emmanouilidis, he cited as key the failure to agree a meaningful, multi-pronged "banking union," as promised, just slightly better supervision. […]

"The euro crisis, I've said it before, is behind us," French President Francois Hollande said after joining Merkel to celebrate the Nobel award in Oslo.

"We've given Greece the funds it was waiting for. In Spain we've helped keep the banks afloat. In Italy, even if there's political uncertainty, I'm sure the Italians will address it," Hollande said. [...]

"I cannot lift the alert completely," said "prudent optimist" Merkel, after the German central bank said Europe's biggest economy may flirt briefly with recession.

As Merkel keeps a close eye on her voters in the run-up to the polls, what was meant to be a triumphant summit charting ever-closer EU integration in the years ahead may prove disappointing, analysts said.

"There is the sense in Berlin that others are becoming complacent," Janis Emmanouilidis, senior analyst and German specialist at the leading Brussels-based European Policy Centre told AFP.

"There will be a different political wind in Germany from September, even if Merkel gets back in -- but until then, everything is on pause," he said.

"Ultimately, Spain, Italy and eventually France are the variables -- what does France want at a national level? ... With Hollande, there is no way to find a grand bargain before the German election," Emmanouilidis said. […]

For the original article see here.


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