Leaders of the 27-member European Union began arriving this evening for what has been described as “make-or-break” meeting to solve the deepening debt and financial crisis in Europe.
The leaders made short statements to journalists as doubts grow an agreement would be reached today to deal with the crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “It will be an important meeting. We have a series of problems to resolve and discussions to conduct.”
“Our work is not done yet. But I think that everybody is traveling here with the goal of definitely making significant progress,” she added.
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, said there was a general sense of “goodwill” on the part of EU leaders
For his part, British Prime Minister David Cameron said “it is in the British interest that we solve this crisis.”
“Some of the issues that we will be discussing this afternoon are directly relevant to Britain in terms of strengthening banks across Europe. But in any event we need to have the greatest possible support, the most comprehensive solution possible and that’s what we will be discussing tonight,” he added.
EU leaders are meeting Wednesday for the second time in three days in an effort to agree how to deal with the debt and financial crisis plaguing Europe.
“We will finalise Eurozone decision making on Wednesday evening, 26 October, ” President of the EU Council Herman Van Rompuy had declared after last Sunday’s EU summit.
The EU leaders have to agree on the recapitalisation of banks and to give more firepower to the EU’s 440 billion euro bailout fund called the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). However, the main challenges before the EU leaders is how to prevent the Greek debt crisis from spreading to other Eurozone countries like Italy, Spain and Portugal.
The summit of the 27 EU leaders will be followed by a meeting tonight of the 17 eurozone leaders whose countries use the common euro currency.