Europe’s leaders start a two-day summit in the late afternoon of Thursday with a packed agenda and problems on nearly every horizon.
Disrupting the planned agenda, which should have concentrated on a rescue package for indebted member states, has been the crisis in Libya and political turmoil in Portugal and Finland. There is also wariness on the part of German leader Angela Merkel to appear weak ahead of key local elections, and too ready to give money away to countries her electorate believes have followed irresponsible economic policies.
An arsenal of measures designed to support indebted states and bolster the euro which was due to be announced this week in Brussels now looks likely, because of German hesitation, to be postponed until at least June. But there are worries the markets will not want to wait that long.