Eurozone has no talks planned before mid-September: Belgium

11th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

There are no plans to bring forward a meeting of eurozone finance ministers due in mid September, despite market turmoil, Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders said on Thursday.

"Several requests have been made to organise meetings earler. For the moment no decision has been taken," Reynders told Belgian financial daily paper L'Echo.

Spain's Economy Minister Elena Salgado earlier this week said that an EU meeting on the crisis would be called early September, but an EU diplomat in Brussels had said there were no plans for crisis talks "at this stage".

Reynders also said he hoped "if things go really well" that parliaments of the 17-nation eurozone would adopt by September 15 a wide-ranging plan to halt the sovereign debt crisis agreed at an emergency July 21 summit.

Leaders agreed at the summit the conditions of a second bailout for Greece involving private sector involvement as well as a beef-up of the eurozone's rescue fund, the 440-billion-euro ($625-billion) European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

Reynders said that reluctance by eurozone member Slovakia to join the new bailout for Greece was not a major sticking point.

"It is obviously a great shame that a eurozone nation would fail to take an active part in rescue operations, but it is not a major problem," he said.

The Belgian minister, who favours calls to issue new common "euro-bonds" to shore up the single currency, said an early summit in September would "make sense" only if European nations were ready to take a step to greater budgetary union.

Until now taboo, euro-bonds for instance would allow eurozone governments to raise funds needed to run their countries based on guarantees from the entire 17-country bloc of 332 million people.

Should a fresh summit be convened, the likeliest date would be after talks between finance ministers scheduled September 16 and 17 in Poland, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, Reynders said.

© 2011 AFP

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