Europe faces a month that may decide the success of the European Central Bank’s bid to end the debt crisis, starting with the resumption of talks in Athens today between Greece’s international creditors and the government.
Leaders of the 17-nation euro area are confronting a tougher approach from the German-led pro-austerity bloc and unrest in Spain over budget cuts and a separatist movement in Catalonia. The first of three summits in the next three months, called “crucial” by European Union President Herman Van Rompuy, is set for Oct. 18-19, as investor sentiment toward the euro area that surged in September is on the wane.
Amid two days of protests in Madrid last week, Rajoy’s government unveiled a fifth austerity package in nine months. Spain’s Budget Ministry announced plans over the weekend to borrow 207.2 billion euros ($267 billion) next year, widening the country’s debt to 90.5 percent of gross domestic product.
In Athens, officials from the so-called troika of international creditors -- the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund -- returned to continue their assessment of Greece’s creditworthiness. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras meets officials at 6 p.m. local time, while Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras meets at 2 p.m.