Dec 10 - European Union finance ministers want to reach a political deal on how to close down failing euro zone banks by the end of the year. But they may have to meet again next week to iron out the details and as Sonia Legg reports, some are sceptical a deal will ever be reached.
It's meant to mark a new phase of euro zone integration. But banking union is not yet a reality - even though the year end deadline is looming ominously Europe's finance ministers - meeting in Brussels - say they're doing their best to make it happen. But the euro zone must be patient, says France's Pierre Moscovici. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER PIERRE MOSCOVICI SAYING: "I think we are on that road to launching it, there is still a lot of work to be done, it will be a long day with still complex issues to resolve, and operational clarifications, but all of us have made efforts to narrow our different points of view." Germany has a few of those. It won't allow the euro zone's current rescue fund to help failed banks. And a separate pot would need to be funded and controlled by someone. They are no easy solutions and CMC's Michael Hewson fears a fudge. (SOUNDBITE) (English): CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "A weak deal is pretty much the same as no deal at all because if you have for internal wrangling between various vested interests then really nothing is going to get done." After three years of financial market turmoil and bailouts of Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus no-one wants to get it wrong. But making euro zone banks less dependent on their governments is a high stakes game. (SOUNDBITE) (English): CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "For the full sovereign feedback debt loop to be broken between banks and sovereigns you need a strong banking union, completely independent with a single supervisor, funded completely separately without external interference from Germany, France, Italy or Spain and I really don't think there is a political will for that to happen." The ministers aren't drinking at the last chance saloon quite yet. There's another summit at the end of next week. But legal technicalities could still prove problematic even if a political agreement is reached soon.