17th October 2011
Speaking after the conference, Geithner said: "The elements of this plan include a much more substantial financial firewall to ensure that the governments of Europe can borrow at sustainable interest rates" and "a broad recapitalization of banks, further support for a sustainable program in Greece and steps toward fiscal union".
The Guardian's economic correspondent Phillip Inman believes that this shows Geithner is now "convinced that French and Germans recognise the problem".
And Inman compares that the situation even a few days ago. He writes: "it was something the French and Germans closed their ears to. No amount of calls for "shock and awe" shifted their position. There was simply a stubborn refusal to define the Greek situation as anything more than a local difficulty, and definitely not a crisis".
But perhaps it is dangerous to get one's hopes up too high.
Here AGI News suggests that the German finance minister has been pouring cold water on the chances of a final plan emerging on the 23 October when the full G20 summit takes place.
It reports that "Wolfgang Schaeuble ruled out any final agreement on the European debt crisis at the EU summit on 23 October".
And here the BBC's Robert Peston deems the plan, even it before emerges, to be a ‘sticking plaster not a cure".
"When I talk to ministers, regulators, bankers and investors they all say – which is a statement of the obvious – two things: that such a rescue cannot be taken for granted; and (perhaps more importantly) that whatever is agreed will not solve the eurozone's fundamental problem. Any agreement to strengthen Europe's banks treats the symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself."
That, he says, is the indebtedness of eurozone countries.
So is it six days to save the world, or six days to think about saving the world? And if no plan emerges what then? Six more days to find out perhaps.
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