The French and German leaders are meeting in Paris trying yet again to contain the debt crisis that is threatening the euro zone.
The already slim prospect of any meaningful result was further dented with news that Germany’s economy has been performing below expectations.
Both countries said issuing Euro bonds was not on today’s agenda. It is something Germany has always opposed.
The World Bank president also said the answer lies with individual countries.
Robert Zoellick said: “You still have sovereign governments having to make decisions in Europe. They do it within a super federal structure, and it’s really going to be the responsibility of each of those entities to make the calls about how they’re going to face not only the short-term challenges, often assisted by their central banks, but also go to the medium and long term. And that varies by each market.”
The debt crisis that began in Europe’s smallest economies is now threatening the biggest. Italy has cranked up austerity measures. Last week the European Central Bank was forced to buy Italian and Spanish debt in the form of bonds but there are growing calls for a common euro-bond to be issued.
Some economists have warned that without closer fiscal union there will be no euro zone by the end of the year.