By EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
Developments in the sovereign bond markets of Italy and Spain are a cause of deep concern. These developments are clearly unwarranted on the basis of economic and budgetary fundamentals in these two Member States and the steps that they are taking to reinforce those fundamentals. In fact, the tensions in bond markets reflect a growing concern among investors about the systemic capacity of the euro area to respond to the evolving crisis.
The systemic nature of the sovereign debt crisis was recognised by the Heads of State and Government of the euro area at their meeting of 21 July. At that meeting, a unique solution for the crisis in Greece was found involving a partnership between the official and private creditors, but it was agreed that private sector involvement would not be a standard feature of the euro area’s crisis management. Agreement was also reached on ground-breaking measures that will reinforce the euro area’s systemic response to the crisis by enhancing the effectiveness of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), by reforming euro area governance structures and by adapting our working methods to the needs of crisis management with each institution playing its part. It is essential, therefore, that we move forward rapidly with the implementation of all of that has been agreed by the Heads of State and Government and send an unambiguous signal of the euro area’s resolve to address the sovereign debt crisis with the means commensurate with the gravity of the situation.
The necessary technical work to implement the measures agreed on 21 July is already underway and will be completed as a matter of urgency. The Commission services are actively supporting the Member States in this technical work. Implementation of some of these measures will also require actions by national parliaments and today I am writing to the Heads of State and Government urging them to ensure that these actions are taken without delay.”