Nov. 29 - Euro zone finance ministers are under pressure to resolve the euro zone debt crisis as they meet in Brussels, where they're expected to agree on details of leveraging the EFSF bailout fund and are likely to approve the next aid installment for Greece and Ireland. Conway Gittens reports. Conway Gittens reports.
Euro zone finance ministers arrive for a meeting in Brussels, just a day after U.S President Barack Obama urged European leaders to act quickly to resolve the two-year-old debt crisis, which is weighing on the American economy. The ministers should approve the payment of the latest aid installments for Greece and Ireland. They'll also agree on details of leveraging their European Financial Stability Fund so it could help Italy or Spain, if needed. Italy's new Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mario Monti is also attending the meeting. He'll explain the reforms he's introducing to regain the confidence of the markets and bring down Italy's unsustainable borrowing costs. But that comes on a day when Rome's borrowing costs hit a euro lifetime high of nearly 8 percent in a sale of its to sell its 3-year debt. Dutch finance minister Jan Kees de Jager: SOUNDBITE: JAN KEES DJAE JAGER, DUTCH FINANCE MINISTER, (DUTCH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "All the countries that are under pressure from the markets have high deficits, high debt or economic problems, and that needs to be tackled in a fundamental way and by the countries themselves. We have to avoid ever entering into such a crisis again and we will do that by imposing very strict measures on governance, on budget oversight, for example by having a treaty change that sees to it that a country can never derail again so strongly from their economic and budgetary targets." Euro zone leaders said at the end of October that a new bank financing programme would be put in place by the end of the year, but some euro zone officials have said they're doubtful that deadline could be met. And analysts stress the markets need to see action more urgently than ever. Conway Gittens, Reuters