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G20 officials held urgent talks on eurozone debt - report

A senior G20 source tells Reuters that the bloc’s deputy finance ministers held a teleconference to discuss the crisis.

Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, yesterday told the European Parliament there was a chance the ECB might issue 'Eurobonds' in future.
Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, yesterday told the European Parliament there was a chance the ECB might issue 'Eurobonds' in future.
Image: Christian Lutz/AP

THE DEPUTY FINANCE MINISTERS of the world’s 20 leading economies held an urgent teleconference on Monday to discuss how they might deal with Europe’s growing debt crisis, it is reported.

Reuters quotes an Asian-based source, who took part in the call, as saying the officials discussed Ireland’s €85bn bailout package and tried to formulate tactics on the part of their more developed economies in dealing with the growing problem of heavily indebted European countries.

“It’s a tradition of the G20 to share information whenever there’s an important situation going on,” the source said, though declining to offer any indication of the outcomes of the meeting.

The president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, has meanwhile insisted that its member states are fully determined to work through the current funding problems, telling the European Parliament that markets “were tending to underestimate” the determination of member states to resolve their problems.

Trichet also hinted that the ECB might be on the verge of revisiting its controversial policy of buying bonds in struggling countries, introduced in May but which has since been tailed off.

While the ECB had been unwilling to invest massive cash reserves in secondhand bonds of its member countries, the Financial Times reports that the ECB is now considered the only party with pockets deep enough to stimulate any significant demand and drive costs down.

Trichet also told MEPs that the prospect of issuing a consolidated European bond – issued by the ECB, alongside or in lieu of bonds from individual member states – was also a possibility being entertained, though not being actively promoted.

“You should never say never, but it’s not something we have thought was necessarily appropriate,” Trichet said.

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Gavan Reilly

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