US raises pressure for Eurozone crisis action

The US raised the pressure on Eurozone leaders to take decisive action on solving the region's debt crisis, notably by lowering troubled members' borrowing costs, on the eve of a crucial European Central Bank (ECB) meeting.

President Barack Obama said he welcomed recent declarations by European leaders and the ECB on the need to do whatever is necessary to preserve the euro.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had a blunter message for the Eurozone, saying it must take steps including "bringing down interest rates in the countries that are reforming and making sure those banking systems can provide the credit those economies need".

Obama, in a telephone call with French President Francois Hollande yesterday, "encouraged their efforts to take decisive action", the White House said.

Hollande reassured Obama that EU member states aimed to enact soon the decisions taken at a summit in late June, according to the French leader's office.

Germany, whose voters are deeply hostile to funding bailouts of the Eurozone’s weakest members, agreed in principle at the summit that the bloc's rescue funds could buy bonds of countries that are struggling to borrow on international markets.