Europe’s money men say they have reached a deal on two fronts to help fight the bloc’s chronic debt crisis.
The second day of talks in Luxembourg came as fears over Greece caused another rout on global markets.
Along with approving measures to control public deficits, ministers also announced an agreement aimed at making the more shady side of Europe’s financial markets more transparent.
Ministers hope the new rules, contained in the EU’s so called ‘Six Pack’, will make it much tougher for countries to rack up huge deficits.
Reporting from Luxembourg Euronews’ Margherita Sforza said: ‘‘Consolidating public finances to avoid a new recession is seen as the key priority of this ECOFIN summit. But, after so much austerity some countries want to open the debate on new strategies to relaunch growth.’‘
One of those loud voices for more ways to boost growth was Spain’s finance minister Helena Salgado.
‘‘Overall, it seems that the countries which find themselves in a better position should push global demand. That should be the decision of national governments without identifying individual countries,’‘ she said.
Italian Finance Minister Giullio Tremonti also called for a stimulus: ‘‘We cannot have growth based purely on domestic consumer demand. Nor can it be based solely on exports, because they’re too weak. We need a third way, a public spending programme. This is what the idea of eurobonds is based on.’‘
Despite the efforts, the key deal markets were watching for was not taken, with ministers deciding to delay a decision on giving Greece its next bailout instalment.