Merkel Criticized for Crisis Strategy

Leaders of Italy, ECB demand bolder steps to stabilize eurozone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was besieged by critics for letting the euro crisis smolder, with the leaders of Italy and the European Central Bank demanding bolder steps to stabilize the 17-nation economy.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and ECB President Mario Draghi pushed Germany to give up its opposition to direct euro-area aid for struggling banks. Monti further antagonized Germany by urging a roadmap to common borrowing.

Obama Call

Monti joined Hollande in cornering Merkel in a conference call this week with U.S. President Barack Obama, who has criticized Europe for failing to get to grips with the crisis. The four-way call focused on “developments in Europe,” the White House said in a statement.

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