Welcome to a live blog of events in Brussels as European leaders meet for a second day to discuss how far and fast to push integration of fiscal and economic systems in the 27-country bloc. Ben Fenton in London is watching.
14.46: And that seems an appropriately grim note on which to end live-blog coverage of the EU council summit, a meeting of which few had high expectations and yet most observers seem still to have come away disappointed.
Until next time.
14.34: Courtesy of Reuters, we have a jolly Christmas message from Chancellor Merkel:
“One reason I am careful with my forecasts is the adjustment process, the changes that we are going through are very difficult and painful.”
“Next year, and the ECB president said this, we will have very low growth rates, we will see negative growth in some countries, and we can expect very high unemployment levels to continue.”
“On the one hand we have accomplished a lot. But we also have tough times ahead of us that can’t be solved with one big step. There has been lots of talk about the one step, whether it be a debt haircut, euro bonds or some other measure that will solve everything. That won’t be the case.”
Welcome to the FT’s live blog assessing the outcome of an extraordinarily dramatic night in Brussels. Markets have responded powerfully with sharp moves in equities, bonds and currencies after EU leaders agreed measures that will see a shift towards central supervision of eurozone banks in exchange for short-term support on Italian and Spanish sovereign debt. We will bring you details of the overnight deal and trace reaction.
18.10: We’re wrapping up the live blog after a day that started very early in Brussels. The action is now shifting over to Berlin, where the German parliament will hold a key vote to approve the ESM and the previously agreed fiscal discipline treaty. For updates on the Bundestag this evening from our own Gerrit Wiesmann, please follow FT.com.
In the meantime, here are some of the highlights from a busy day following the summit’s late-night deal. Read more
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.