Julien Toyer and Luke Baker
July 12, 2011
European Union leaders are poised to hold an emergency summit after finance ministers acknowledged for the first time that some form of Greek default may be needed to cut Athens’ debts and stop contagion to Italy and Spain.
“There will be an extra summit this Friday,” a senior euro zone diplomat told Reuters, suggesting policymakers have been seized with a new sense of urgency after markets started targeting Italian assets.
A French government source said Paris was in favor, although the timing was not yet fixed, and in Spain, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said he had not ruled out a meeting.
Earlier, Germany’s finance minister had said a second Greek rescue package could wait until September after euro zone finance ministers effectively accepted that private sector involvement meant a selective debt default was likely, despite the European Central Bank’s vehement opposition to such a move.