Monti, Hollande, Merkel, Rajoy may meet in Rome after June 17
ROME ITALIAN Prime Minister Mario Monti has invited French, Spanish and German leaders to a fourway summit on the debt crisis to take place after June 17, government sources said on Friday.
While the exact date for the summit has not yet been fixed, it will be held after general elections in France and Greece, which are scheduled for June 17.
Earlier this month Monti had announced a meeting with new French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for June, and later extended the invitation to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
The leaders will be racing to thrash out a common plan for tackling the debt crisis before a decisionmaking EU summit on June 28-29 — but after elections in Greece which could seal Athens’ fate in terms of its future in the eurozone.
If Greeks vote for parties against the budget cuts and reforms tied to a second debt rescue, the EU, IMF and ECB are expected to cut their financial lifeline — forcing the country out of the eurozone.
Its exit could cause incalculable risks for other weaker members, notably Spain and Italy, and some financial observers have warned that Athens’ departure from the eurozone would destabilise the world economy.
Monti has joined other leaders in calling for a greater focus on growth in order to balance harsh austerity measures — particularly severe in Italy.
He appears also to tentatively support Hollande over the launch of eurobonds as a tool with which to survive the debt crisis, but the issue has divided European leaders, with Merkel repeatedly coming out against the move.
German media Friday said that Berlin is developing a six-point plan for boosting growth in Europe, including setting up special economic zones in crisis-hit countries which could woo investors with lower taxes and less regulation.