Time is ticking as EU leaders head towards this week’s two day critical summit to save the euro.
In the short term, decisions are needed over the means to increase firewall funding and the mechanisms to stop contagion.
In the long term there is the German and French plan for greater fiscal integration to pull weaker countries and their wayward economies into shape.
The burning question there is how inclusive will be such a treaty .
The US supports the Franco-German plan saying reforms are needed for economic growth but accompanied by a greater role for the ECB.
Britain has other concerns:
British Prime Minister David Cameron: “ The most important British interest right now is to sort out the problem in the euro zone that is having the chilling effect on our economy that I have spoken about. Now that obviously means euro zone countries doing more together and if they choose to use the European Treaty to do that then obviously there will be British safeguards and British interests that I will insist on and I won’t sign a treaty that doesn’t have those safeguards in it.”
Standard and Poor’s warning shot at the bloc by threatening to cut credit ratings of euro zone members and even that of its rescue fund could be seen more as a political move to spur the leaders into decisive action.
And that’s what the markets are looking for more than anything – long awaited decisions at a summit which above all restore confidence.