Eurozone crisis: Saving Private Euro goes Rome

22 June 2012 – Presseurop L'Espresso, Le Figaro, La Stampa, El País
L'Espresso, 22 June 2012

Angela Merkel, Mariano Rajoy, François Hollande and Mario Monti, the leaders of the four heavyweight eurozone states, are meeting in Rome this June 22 to find a "common vision" ahead of the European Council of June 28 and 29 . A high stakes meeting, Le Figaro notes, as the Italian PM, in an interview with several European newspapers, warns against "a failure in the talks", which could lead to speculative attacks on some countries.

In recent weeks, Le Figaro writes, Mario Monti has stepped up reform proposals —

His proposals to avoid financial disaster have received support from François Hollande. However, Angela Merkel remains "curiously cold," according to sources in Rome. And Brussels is proving sceptical. Olli Rehn, Commissioner for Economic Affairs, has likened them to "financial aspirin".

Le Figaro adds that Monti, wants to make of the gathering "a summit of convergences" —

He is calling on the attendees not to get lost in "ideological debate" [...] and wants to act as a mediator in encouraging Germany to participate in a growth initiative and in convincing France to overcome its reluctance over transfers of national sovereignty.

For La Stampa, Mario Monti wants above all to abandon "the philosophy of slowness" which seems to have dogged Europe this past year. During the interview —

A German journalist asked Monti to try to speak as if he was talking Mr. Müller, a typical German pensioner, terrified at the idea of ​​paying out for other people. The Italian's demeanour changed, and he imagined them drinking a few beers together and telling the pensioner to relax. [...] Hopefully, this will convince the German lady he will be facing.

For L'Espresso, which leads with "Saving Private Euro" as headline, discussions and goodwill alone will not solve the crisis. The "ultimate weapon" on that everyone is thinking about will have to do with reducing one way or the other debt in eurozone states – including a partial default. "An idea that was completely taboo until now."

Madrid daily El País believes that Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy "accedes to the European Directory in a position of extreme weakness" —

Spain is in no condition to influence the future of the union, but in a best case scenario, it can soften the harsh conditions that some of its partners wish to impose in exchange for essential financial assistance. [...] Rajoy will depend on the complicity of Monti and Hollande to appease the inflexibility of Angela Merkel.