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Eurozone finance ministers to meet amid eurozone worries
  Hedgeweb - MON, MAY 14 2012
News Finance ministers from the 17 eurozone countries, known as the eurogroup, are to convene at 4pm GMT today for talks that will focus on the Greek political chaos and fears over the health of Spain's banking sector.

The ministers' talks this afternoon will be dominated by the ongoing problems in Greece, which once again failed to form a coalition government on Sunday. Talks in the country will continue today, but reportedly without Alexis Tsipras, the leader of far-left party Syriza. He has said he wants to keep Greece in the euro but the bailout must be torn up. European leaders say that would require them to cut off funding, allow Greece to go bankrupt and eject it from the European single currency.

After meeting with President Karolos Papoulias and the conservative and socialist leaders, Mr Tsipras said of their coalition offer: "They are not asking for agreement, they are asking us to be their partners in crime and we will not be their accomplices".

If today's president-led talks between the other parties do not reach a solution, fresh elections will be called for next month. Mr Tsipras is widely expected to win at the polls should the austerity-racked country be forced to vote again.

Olli Rehn, European Union Economic and Monetary Commissioner, has previously said that Euro area is ??certainly more resilient? to a possible Greek exit than it was two years ago, when the bloc would have been ??massively underprepared?.

While Greece remains the main short-term problem, EuroGroup ministers will also be looking for answers from Spain.

Last week the country was forced to nationalise crippled lender Bankia. The move caused Spanish bond yields to jump above the 6pc danger level. At a bond auction held today, the country only managed to sell ?2.9bn versus a targeted ?3bn. The average yield on 12-month bills was 2.985pc (versus 2.623pc in April), and 3.302pc on 18-month bills (versus 3.11pc in April).

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