EU leaders will look for ways to promote growth and employment and lay the foundations for a new European Union architecture at today's EU summit, El Mundo writes. “Italy and Spain are struggling to avoid national bankruptcy” is the summary of the summit given by Sweden's Dagens Nyheter, while Sweden's Svenska Dagbladet describes the summit as a “watershed”. The summit will not be able to fulfil the expectations of it, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes. The list of short-, medium- and long-term problems is too long, it writes. Italy's prime minister, Mario Monti, has warned of a potential disaster for the EU, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected the idea of Eurobonds “at present”, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes. At a meeting in Paris yesterday, Merkel and French President François Hollande both stressed that Europe needs deeper integration. Corriere della Sera writes Monti will call for a financial-transaction tax at the summit. An EU finance ministry is being proposed – an idea that, according to Helsingen Sanomat, prompted Finland's Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen to say “I don't even know what that means”.
Yields on Spanish ten-year bonds hit 7% ahead of the European Council, the UK's Daily Telegraph writes. The paper adds that Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, has dismissed calls for financial aid from Italy and Spain. Spain has support from Germany to explore the possibility of a direct injection of capital into its banks, El País writes. The European Commission believes that the summit will offer solutions that will stabilise the markets. El Mundo writes that eurozone finance ministers have ruled out direct aid to banks. The Spanish bank Bankia has a €13 billion hole in its finance, El País writes.
At the summit, Enda Kenny, Ireland's prime minister, will align himself with fellow EU leaders who support the creation of an EU ‘banking union' in which liabilities are shared by member states. The Irish Times has the story. The UK's Independent says that David Cameron, the British prime minister, is concerned that if plans for a banking union go ahead, London could lose its position as global financial centre.
“I understand the scepticism of German savers” is the headline given by Financial Times Deutscheland to a pre-summit interview with Peter Praet, the chief economist of the European Central Bank. France's Libération suggests that the summit may assuage the markets, but it is unlikely to set the basis for growth.
Financial Times Deutscheland carries a commentary on Hollande, writing that he wants to play a leading role but heads a country that only has a C-grade economy. Libération carries an article on “Hollande and the post-Franco-German era”, setting out the three phases of his relationship with Europe.
Adevarul writes that both Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta and President Traian Basescu are heading to Brussels for the European Council, in the latest phase of a power struggle. The constitutional court yesterday ruled that Basescu should represent Romania at the summit.
Greece's President Karolos Papoulias, who is leading the Greek delegation at the summit in Brussels, is expected to present European Union leaders with a letter from Prime Minister Antonis Samaras seeking adjustments to the country's debt deal with its creditors, Kathimerini writes.
Western policymakers are inflicting suffering on their peoples, Paul Krugman and Richard Layard write in the Financial Times under the headline “A manifesto for economic sense”.
“We already have a three-speed Europe,” the former Polish EU affairs minister, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, tells Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza. One is the eurozone, the other comprises countries in its orbit and the third is the UK.
Kathimerini has a look at the new Greek parliament, which will today meet in session for the first time since the 17 June elections.
The British papers are full of a report on a £290 million (€363m) fine imposed on Barclays Bank for manipulating the Libor interest rate, an interest rate that affects trillions of euros. “Barclays bank: too big to obey the rules” is the headline that the Guardian gives to an editorial in which it writes that “it needs to be uncovered just how far this market-fixing went – this has all the makings of systemic scandal”. “The latest disgrace for Barclays can only increase the deep distrust of the public in the integrity of the City and the bankers,” writes the Daily Mail.
Portugal's Publico and Italy's Corriere della Sera are among the papers that report that Russia now supports the creation of a government of national unity in Syria, as proposed by the UN mediator Kofi Annan.
The leading political commentator of the UK's Independent writes that “At a time of crisis, we need more experience at the top than this”. I look at the erratic policy journey of Prime Minister David Cameron and of George Osborne, the finance minister, and wonder if they know where they are going, he writes. There is a Habsburg feel to ageing Britain, writes a commentator in the UK's Times. Politicians should be wary of pandering to its reactionary prejudices.
A commentator in the Financial Times looks at the decision of News Corp to split its operations and concludes that Rupert “Murdoch the magician is running out of tricks”.
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