Merkel cancels pre-summit speech: reports (by William L. Watts)
FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has cancelled a statement planned for Friday on the upcoming European Union summit in Brussels, news reports said Thursday. A spokesman for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union said the cancellation was due to a lack of agreement on new guidelines for the euro-zone rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, Dow Jones Newswires reported. The European Union confirmed it plans to hold the summit of euro-zone leaders as planned in Brussels on Sunday after an earlier newspaper report said the gathering could be postponed due to disagreement between France and Germany over the EFSF. Reuters, citing unidentified sources in Germany's ruling coalition, reported that no decision on leveraging the EFSF would be made at the summit.
Second euro-zone crisis summit set for Wednesday (by MarketWatch)
FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- This Sunday's summit meeting of euro-zone leaders will be followed by a second meeting no later than Wednesday, the Associated Press reported Thursday. The plan for a second gathering comes as prospects for leaders to reach a detailed agreement on leveraging the region's bailout fund and agreeing on larger writedowns on Greek government debt for private bondholders at the Sunday summit in Brussels faded amid apparent disagreements between France and Germany.
Merkel, Sarkozy to meet Saturday in Brussels (by William L. Watts)
FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Saturday night in Brussels to prepare for the summit meeting of European leaders set for Sunday, the leaders said in a joint statement Thursday. "The president and the chancellor have agreed to provide a comprehensive and ambitious response to the current crisis in the euro area," which will include implementing a revamped euro-zone bailout fund, strengthening the capital of European banks and strengthening economic integration and economic governance, the statement said. Greek authorities will have to make "ambitious" commitments to addressing its deficit situation as part of a new bailout program, with Germany and France calling for talks with the private sector on reducing Greece's debt load, the statement said. The measures will be discussed Sunday and adopted at a second summit meeting no later than Wednesday, the statement said.