The Two-Way
10:54 am
Mon January 30, 2012

At E.U. Meeting, Countries Expected To Agree That Austerity Is Not Enough

European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the monetary union's ongoing economic crisis. According to The New York Times, the countries will decide that austerity is not enough to curb the sovereign debt crisis.

The Times reports:

"A draft of the European Union summit meeting communiqué calls for 'growth-friendly consolidation and job-friendly growth,' an indication that European leaders have come to realize that austerity measures, like those being put in countries like Greece and Italy, risk stoking a recession and plunging fragile economies into a downward spiral.

"The difficulty, however, is that reaching such a conclusion is not the same as making it happen.

"Instead, leaders will discuss long-term structural reforms and better use of E.U. subsidies, while avoiding mention of the one thing that could change the climate: a fiscal stimulus from Germany, the euro currency zone's undisputed powerhouse."

The Wall Street Journal reports that the countries will likely endorse creating the European Stability Mechanism, a $661 billion bailout fund, but Greece has taken center stage.

At issue is whether Germany will approve a second bailout for the country. Germany wants more control over Greece's finances, including setting up a special budget czar.

But, as the Journal reports, not everyone is onboard with the idea, because it would mean losing autonomy.

The Financial Times reports that a press conference is scheduled for 7 p.m. local time, 1 p.m. ET. The paper reports that if you're looking at the market for guidance, they're saying that the E.U. will emerge without a decisive course.

European stocks suffered their biggest drop in six weeks.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.