Europeans Struggle to Clear Hurdles to Latest Euro Rescue Plan
European finance ministers struggled Friday to remove hurdles that were holding up their latest rescue plan for the euro, as the U.S. Treasury secretary,Â Timothy F. Geithner, warned that failure to act could leave â€œthe fate of Europeâ€ to outsiders.
Their meeting comes at a time of continued anxiety in the financial markets, and before a deadline forGreeceâ€™s foreign creditors to decide whether to release the next installment of its original bailout. If Greece does not get the â‚¬8 billion, or $11 billion, tranche, in October, it could have to default on its debts, with potentially catastrophic repercussions on global growth.
That Mr. Geithner made the trans-Atlantic journey â€” just one week after attending the meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 7 countries in Marseille â€” was seen as a signal of the seriousness with which the United States views the debt crisis.
In an unprecedented appearance at a meeting of finance ministers from the euro zone, Mr. Geithner raised the possibility of the blocâ€™s giving its â‚¬440 billion bailout fund more firepower by allowing it to act like a bank and borrow more freely on the financial markets, according to one senior European official.