Spain's pain focuses minds at Eurogroup

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Spain's pain focuses minds at Eurogroup

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Eurozone finance chiefs have gathered in Brussels amid mounting fears of discord between the currency bloc’s southern and northern members following last month’s EU summit deal. Negative market sentiment once again pushed up Spanish and Italian borrowing.

Despite that, France’s finance minister Pierre Moscovici said: ‘‘Since last month’s summit I think Europe has taken a different path. What President Francois Hollande described as a reorientation and stabilisation of European construction. It is our role now to ensure that works.’‘

During the meeting ministers are expected to grant Madrid an extra year to reach its deficit targets and iron out the details of Spain’s banking bailout, though a final decision may have to wait.

Speaking from inside the EU Council euronews’ Enrico Bona said: “All eurozone countries agree more integration to solve the crisis is needed. But the eurogroup risks becoming another battlefield between the North and South of Europe, with some countries casting doubts over the deal drawn up here at last month’s EU summit. If that happens, it won’t just be Spain and Italy that will pay a heavy price, but the Eurozone as a whole.’‘