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April 20, 2021
BUSINESS WORLD

Euro area leaders plan shuttle talks to support Greece

Europe’s leaders plan a week of intensive shuttle diplomacy to help defuse the continent’s debt crisis, as Der Spiegel magazine reported that the European Central Bank is considering a plan to put a cap on bond yields. As the debt crisis continues to threaten the global economy, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Berlin on Aug. 23, Hotnews.ro informs, quoting Bloomberg. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras travels to the German capital the next day before going on to Paris on Aug. 25. The talks come as the ECB fleshes out plans to curb the turmoil in European bond markets, a move that would give governments time to push through measures to revamp their economies. The ECB’s governing council may decide at its next meeting in early September to set yield limits on the debt of each country, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information. An ECB official declined to comment on the Spiegel report. A plan to set a target on bond yields would involve the ECB using its power to print money, Spiegel said. The central bank would publish the volume of purchases for each country, the magazine said. ECB President Mario Draghi is trying to overcome opposition from Germany’s Bundesbank to a new bond-purchase plan. Announced on Aug. 2, Draghi said any ECB bond-buying would work alongside euro-area bailout funds and only if countries applied for support and accepted strict conditions in return. Italy and Spain, the countries now at the heart of the crisis as borrowing costs soar, have yet to say whether they will request ECB help. Italian and Spanish bonds rose after the Spiegel report. The yield on Spain’s 10-year government bond fell 14 basis points to 6.27 percent as of 9:38 in Madrid, while the yield on Italian 10-year bonds was 5.73 percent, down 4 basis points. Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos urged the ECB to deploy unlimited bond buying in the secondary market, according to an interview with Spanish news agency Efe on Aug. 18. Terms for the assistance will be discussed at a euro-area ministers’ meeting in the second week of September.

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