Daily Archives: November 14, 2011

By Gideon Rachman

The arrival of technocratic prime ministers in Greece and Italy has not been greeted with universal applause. Some complain that because Lucas Papademos and Mario Monti have not been elected, their appointments will simply confirm the elitist and undemocratic nature of the European project.

Mario Monti in Rome on Monday. Photo: Pier Paolo Cito/AP

Mario Monti, Italy's newly appointed prime minister designate, in Rome on Monday. Photo: Pier Paolo Cito/AP

Welcome back to the FT’s live coverage of the eurozone crisis and the global fallout. By John Aglionby and Esther Bintliff in London with contributions from correspondents around the world. All times are GMT.

Are calmer waters finally visible on the horizon of the eurozone? Perhaps – for now. Mario Monti’s first full day as Italian prime minister designate will be marked by a bond auction and his efforts to form a government. A confidence debate starts in Greece on Lucas Papademos’s government. And German chancellor Angela Merkel holds her Christian Democratic Union party annual conference in Leipzig.

19.50: That’s all for now, but before we go, here’s a whistlestop tour through today’s latest FT news and insights on the eurozone crisis:

  • Greece has met financial requirements for an €8bn loan payment but still has to reassure “taxpayers abroad” that it is fully committed to implementing the terms of an international bail-out, the country’s new premier told parliament on Monday.
  • Understanding Mario Monti – the view from Brussels
  • Three key themes that will guide Mr Monti as he attempts to pull Italy out of its sovereign debt quagmire - financial rigour, promotion of economic growth and social equity
  • Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, calls for Europe to build a “political union” to underpin the euro and help the continent emerge from its “toughest hour since world war two
  • Looking ahead to tomorrow: France’s third quarter growth figures, due out on Tuesday, will be watched with more than usual concern. Here’s why.

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(Top row L to R) Thai deputy prime minister Kittirat Na-Ranong, Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, Peruvian president Ollanta Humala Tasso and (front row L to R) Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Chinese president Hu Jintao and Canada prime minister Stephen Harper – Image AFP/Getty

There may be a leadership crisis in Europe, but Asian leaders attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in Honolulu mostly appeared as relaxed as the bronzed holidaymakers stretched out on Waikiki beach.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian president, was so laid back he began his presentation at the parallel business leaders’ forum with a song of his own composition.

The tune, accompanied by sappy lyrics worthy of a charity single, was about saving the environment, a sentiment that Indonesia sometimes honours in the breach.

Still, the retired general credited with bringing political stability and economic growth to his country of 240m people, appeared in confident mood. He said that the economy, which has been growing steadily above 6 per cent, was fairly resilient to the troubles in Europe. He pointed to a deficit of just 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product – which he said would be lower next year – and public debt/GDP levels of 25 per cent. Are you listening Lucas Papademos? Read more