Speculation hots up over eurobonds

 
Julian Harris
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ITALIAN politicians stepped up pressure for closer fiscal union across the Eurozone over the weekend, as a report emerged that German ministers were considering caving in on demands for eurobonds.

Speaking ahead of a crucial Franco-German summit this week, Italian economy minister Giulio Tremonti said: “We would not have arrived where we are if we had had the eurobond,” describing the measure as a “master solution”.

Bonds would spread the burden of debt from troubled member states across the whole of the 17-nation single currency area.

The proposal was vehemently rejected on Saturday by Wolfgang Schaeuble, “for as long as member states conduct their own financial policies”.

Yet despite publicly denouncing the scheme, one German newspaper claims that senior German officials are considering the case for eurobonds behind closed doors.

“Preserving the Eurozone with all its members has absolute top priority for us,” according to a government source quoted in the newspaper under the headline: “Government no longer excludes European transfer union and joint eurobonds as last resort.”

Former hedge fund legend George Soros waded into the debate yesterday, calling for Greece and Portugal to quit both the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole.