Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the eurozone crisis as we head into the evening. Europe’s leaders have gathered in Brussels to try to deliver a solution to the sovereign debt crisis. It has been a nervy day in the markets and national capitals – all of which you can read about on our live coverage from earlier on. Tonight we should discover whether Europe’s leaders can overcome their differences and chart a course towards recovery or whether they will once again fail to reach a deal. We’ll bring you news and commentary as we get it.
All times are London time. By Tom Burgis on the news desk in London, with contributions from FT correspondents around the world.
22.38: We’re going to wrap up our live coverage from London now. But fear not, the FT reporters at the summit will not rest until we have an outcome from the evening’s second summit, of all 17 eurozone leaders. See ft.com for all the latest news.
It seems only right to give the final word on today’s developments to Justin Timberlake, whose new film, In Time, has the strap line: “Tomorrow is a luxury you can’t afford.” Over the coming hours we’ll discover whether European leaders – and the markets – share that sentiment.
22.35: A quick recap on what we know so far
- The 27 EU leaders agreed a statement as per a leaked draft, fleshing out some headline details of how the bank recapitalisation will work
- Silvio Berlusconi’s letter to his fellow eurozone leaders included a commitment to raise the Italian retirement age to 67
- Nicolas Sarkozy will call his Chinese counterpart tomorrow in what seems to be part of efforts to win Chinese investment for a fund to buy eurozone debt
- US markets dealt with all of this pretty calmly, finishing the day in the black
Here’s the problem with the Arab League. A ministerial delegation is due in Syria today to convince Bashar al-Assad’s regime to stop killing protestors demanding the president’s ouster, and agree to an Arab reconciliation plan.
Qatar, the exceedingly wealthy autocracy which has emerged as the unlikely champion of the oppressed across the Arab world, is leading the delegation, despite initial grumbles from Damascus. But the six-member mission also includes Egypt, Oman, Algeria and Yemen. Right, Yemen, where the government has been denounced by many of its fellow Arab states for rejecting a Gulf plan to transfer power away from the president, Ali Abdallah Saleh.
Welcome to our continuing coverage of the eurozone crisis. Today’s summit in Brussels could, in years to come, be viewed as a turning point in the eurozone crisis. Or, it could be just one more extended meeting at which policymakers tried – and failed – to agree on a plan big enough to calm the storm in Europe’s sovereign debt markets. We’ll bring you news and commentary until the summit begins.
All times are London time. By Esther Bintliff and David Crouch on the world news desk in London, with contributions from FT correspondents around the world.
17.10: The summit is about to begin and we’re continuing in a fresh post: Eurozone crisis: the evening session.
16.45: A reminder of the timetable for tonight:
- 17.00 – 18.00 (London time): the leaders of all 27 EU member states meet
- 18:15 onwards: the summit of eurozone leaders begins
Statements and possibly a press conference are expected when the meetings close, but they will likely continue long into the night.
Stanley Pignal, Brussels correspondents, reports:
“EU leaders have been arriving for the first of tonight’s two meetings, which will involve all 27 member states before the eurozone-only leaders convene afterwards.