News Column

Busy Euro Diplomacy Week Ahead for Merkel

Aug 31, 2012
Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a busy week of shuttle diplomacy over the eurozone crisis, travelling to both Spain and Austria for talks, her deputy spokesman said in Berlin on Friday.

On Thursday, Merkel is due to meet Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Madrid and attend a conference of German and Spanish business leaders.

Friday's talks in Vienna with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann are expected to also cover euro issues, spokesman Georg Streiter said.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy will also be visiting her in Berlin for lunch on Tuesday.

Van Rompuy will then be meeting with French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday in Paris, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday in Athens and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Saturday in the northern Italian town of Cernobbio.

Hollande has paid flying visits to Berlin and Madrid in recent days, while Samaras has been to Berlin and Paris for talks.

The flurry of shuttle diplomacy grows out of interlocked moves to impose austerity in Greece, assess the scale of aid needed by Spain's banks and roll back punitive interest rates on Spanish and Italian government bonds.

The eurozone's next move to beat the debt crisis, starting up the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), is on hold while Germany's constitutional court considers the legality of the ratification terms. It is due to hand down its verdict on September 12.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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