Leaders Gather for Euro Summit

Merkel increasingly isolated as other leaders back euro bonds, growth measures.

Europe’s leaders today cap their latest effort to check the financial crisis that claimed Cyprus this week as its fifth victim.

Euro-area finance ministers set the stage for today’s gathering in Brussels of the European Union’s 27 chiefs, approving Cyprus’s bailout and detailing how they would aid Spanish banks. Consensus breaks down on safeguarding governments in Spain and Italy, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejecting calls to do more to cut their borrowing costs.

Merkel’s Doubts

Merkel, also the focus of pressure at the Group of 20 nations summit 10 days ago, yesterday shut the door to joint euro-area bonds as a means of lowering Spain and Italy’s borrowing costs, saying they are the “wrong way” to achieve the greater European integration needed to stem the debt crisis.

‘Not Enough’

“It is not enough that we paint the future differently but we need to make the decisions that we need right now,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters in Brussels late yesterday.

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