Italy, Spain Block Key European Deal On Growth; EU Summit
Published Friday, 29 June 2012 13:14 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
Cash-strapped Italy and Spain have closed ranks and blocked a key EU deal on growth as the European bloc convenes in Brussels for a two-day summit aimed at rooting out a spiraling debt crisis.
The crucial summit in Brussels was set to end Friday with a deal on a growth pact aimed at reviving Europe's faltering economies and bridging differences between the bloc's 27 nations, AFP reported on Thursday.
While European Union’s leaders agreed to inject 120 billion euros ($150 billion) into cross-border infrastructure projects to create jobs, they failed to finalize a so-called "growth compact" due to the Spanish and Italian stand.
"There are two countries that are very keen to ensure there is agreement on long-term measures and short-term measures," EU president Herman Van Rompuy told a news conference.
"I wouldn't say there is a blockage, discussions are ongoing," he said after seven hours of talks.
Markets have lost confidence in the ability of Madrid and Rome to reduce their deficits and subsequently their borrowing costs have risen.
Eurozone member states including Spain and Italy have been struggling with deep economic troubles since the bloc's financial crisis began roughly five years ago.
The summit is aimed at hammering out a roadmap for tightening European integration and heading off a potential economic collapse.
An opinion poll conducted by Press TV indicates the eurozone debt crisis will spur the world economy into further recession.
The survey showed that 54 percent of the participants said more recession is predictable following the current financial crisis in the European Union member states.
According to the poll, 39 percent said the debt crisis will lead to the demise of the euro.
This is while only seven percent of respondents believe that the crisis would not affect the euro and the world economy.