The leaders of the four biggest economies in the eurozone are meeting in Rome to thrash out further measures to deal with the debt crisis.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is hosting Spain’s Mariano Rajoy, French president Francois Hollande and Germany’s Angela Merkel for talks that will focus on promoting growth instead of austerity.
Ahead of an EU summit in Brussels next week, Monti is warning of disastrous consequences for the eurozone’s economy and European integration as a whole, if the Brussels meetings fail to deal with the euro crisis.
His stark words add pressure on Germany to agree on eurozone countries jointly issuing debt, directly helping troubled banks and relaxing austerity for countries that have already received bailout money.
In contrast to Merkel, who is increasingly being seen as an obstacle, IMF head Christine Lagarde supported these measures at a eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg, remarking she hoped “wisdom would prevail” with regard to Merkel’s tough attitude.