EU efforts to contain a sovereign debt crisis and protect the common euro currency failed on financial markets today, with the value of stocks and the euro declining in trading worldwide.
The declines came despite eight hours of tough talks on July 11, in which EU finance ministers pledged to strengthen the size and scope of a multi-billion-dollar fund set up in the wake of last year's 110-billion-euro bailout of Greece.
Olli Rehn, the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, has sought to reassure markets about the stability of the euro currency, saying that it was "very important that the ministers reaffirmed their absolute commitment to safeguard financial stability in the euro area and they stand ready to adopt further measures that will improve the euro area's systemic capacity to resist contagion risk."
As the ministers began new crisis talks o n July 12, Finland's finance minister Jutta Urpilainen said the situation "is very serious at the moment."
Amid growing concerns about Italy's ability to pay off its debts, Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti left the talks early on July 12, saying he needs to return to Rome to work on an austerity plan for his country.
compiled from agency reports