By Gideon Rachman
As the European ship heads for the rocks, so the officers in charge are being thrown overboard. This week could see the departure of the prime ministers of both Greece and Italy. But while politicians may come and go, European leaders insist that one thing will remain eternal – the euro. No summit is complete without the ritualistic declaration that Europe will do “whatever it takes” to preserve the single currency. But the repeated vows to save the euro betray a dangerous confusion.
Two ghosts from the Cold War returned to haunt Central America this weekend. Or so some believe.
In Nicaragua, Sunday’s re-election of Daniel Ortega as president has stirred memories of the country’s 1980s civil war, which pitted Mr Ortega’s Cuban-supported Sandanistas against the US-supported Contras. Meanwhile, in Guatemala, the election of Otto Pérez Molina, a retired general from the other side of the ideological divide, is a chilling reminder of the country’s 1960-1996 civil war, which saw over 200,000 people killed or disappeared. Read more
It seems somehow fitting that the European crisis is currently centred on the two great wellsprings of European civilisation – Athens and Rome. If Hollywood were making a film about it, it could be called – “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire II” and sub-titled – “This time they’re taking the rest of Europe with them.” Read more
The Chinese are voting again. Having lost their chance to determine the outcome of Happy Girls, an audience-participation talent show that has mysteriously vanished from next year’s schedules, they are voting instead for Ai Weiwei, the artist and thorn in Beijing’s side. Read more
Silvio Berlusconi, Reuters
Welcome to the FT’s live blog on the eurozone crisis. Curated by Orla Ryan and John Aglionby on the world news desk with contributions from correspondents around the world. In Italy, doubts have emerged that Silvio Berlusconi can remain in power as the country’s borrowing costs continues to rise. Greece is expected to name a new leader after its two largest political parties late on Sunday decided to form a government of national unity. George Papandreou will stand down as prime minister.
18.24: That’s it for the live blog for today. For news and analysis of events in Greece, Italy and the rest of the eurozone, visit www.ft.com.
18.19: Before we wrap up the live blog, here is a summary of the day’s key events:
Silvio Berlusconi is still prime minister of Italy, despite a flurry of rumours and speculation that he would step down today. Italy’s stock and bond markets endured a volatile session, with borrowing costs continuing to rise. Fears remain that Italy will be the next casualty of the eurozone crisis.