A clash between Wolfgang Schäuble and Pierre Moscovici, the
finance ministers of Germany and France, has prevented an agreement among the
European Union's finance ministers on the powers the European Central Bank
should be given to supervise the eurozone's banks.
A meeting of finance ministers in Brussels broke up without
result this afternoon (4 December). The ministers will meet again on Wednesday
next week (12 December), one day before EU leaders begin a two-day summit.
The leaders had last June tasked the ministers with drawing
up plans for a single banking supervisor (essentially a new department at the
ECB) by the end of the year. But the negotiations have deepened a rift between
France, which wants the ECB to supervise all banks in the eurozone, and
Germany, which wants to limit supervision to banks that pose a systemic risk or
that are receiving government assistance.
The role of EU member states such as Sweden or Hungary that
do not use the euro as their currency but are financially dependent on the
eurozone is another unresolved issue.
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