Highlights: Comments after EU leaders' summit
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders agreed a single supervisor will take responsibility for overseeing euro zone banks from next year.
But the leaders, who met on Thursday and Friday, left for another time the details on the precise number of banks to be monitored and the powers to be given to the supervisor -- the European Central Bank.
Following are comments by EU leaders and officials after the talks:
SPANISH PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY
ON BANKING UNION:
"We sent a message of confidence and unity."
"We're offering to the rest of the world credibility and confidence."
ON A POTENTIAL AID REQUEST:
"The decision is not taken yet. What is important is that if I need to take it, I will take it."
"The instrument is there. That is very important to have this instrument, that this instrument exists. Some months ago the instrument didn't exist but now it exists. The fact that it exists is very good. It is there and it can be activated. But right now, the decision is not taken yet. When it will be taken, I will communicate it to you."
GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL
ON COORDINATING ECONOMIC POLICY:
"I believe that we need tighter coordination on economic policy. I have developed ideas for this. There should be binding agreements between the European Commission and countries on the basis of country specific recommendations....
"The plans... are not for five or 10 years. Their introduction is for the same time-frame, in my view, as the plans for a bank supervisor.
"They are all elements of stronger coordination in economic and monetary union. All these pillars must be introduced in the same time-frame."
ON BANK RECAPITALISATION:
"We will have further building blocks. We will have the banking supervision. Then direct recapitalization will follow. There, one must naturally have a resolution fund for banks, that will have contributions from banks. Here there is work to be done."
"There will not be any back-dated direct recapitalization. If recapitalization is possible, it will only be possible for the future so I think that when the banking supervisor is in place we won't have any more problems with the Spanish banks, at least I hope not."
FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE
ON BANKING UNION:
"Yesterday we decided the implementation of banking union with major deadline of January 1 for finalizing and implementing of the legal framework. It should allow banking supervision to establish the its institutions, leading to its activation and allowing the direct recapitalization of banks in 2013."
ON BUDGET FOR THE EURO ZONE:
"If euro zone countries decide to seek resources for the actions which concern them, it is not a substitution, it's an addition."
"No country can prevent the euro zone from moving ahead as it wishes."
ON FINANCIAL TRANSACTION TAX (FTT):
"There are today 10 countries which have made a request (to start the tax). Reinforced cooperation has therefore been accepted by the European Commission."
"The discussion between the ECB/IMF troika and Greece is in its final phase. The position we adopted... during the night, was to state that progress has been made. There are still some clarifications awaited but the process is going in the right direction and the future of Greece is in the euro zone.
"I had a meeting with the Greek prime minister. We agreed I would make a visit there but a date has not yet been fixed. The sign which I wish to send is a sign of confidence in Greece and the conclusion which must be brought to the discussions once the troika's report is presented."
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON
ON EU LONG-TERM BUDGET:
"I think it would be good to have a deal, it's good to settle these issues, but it just would not be acceptable to see some huge increase in EU spending at a time when other budgets are being cut."
"So the British public expects a tough approach, a rigorous approach and that's exactly what they'll get, and if we can't get a deal ... if there isn't a deal that's good for Britain, if there isn't a deal that's available, then there won't be a deal."
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