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Seeking unity on banking union

Monday, May 13, 2013 - 02:00

May 13 - Euro zone ministers meet in Brussels to discuss progress on setting up a banking union. But as Sonia Legg reports while there's agreement on some issues speed of implementation isn't one of them.

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They're united in aim but far from agreed on how to achieve it That's the situation in the euro zone when it comes to banking union. New obstacles have emerged from Germany's Finance Minister. Wolfgang Schaeuble says changes to the EU Treaty are needed before union can be implemented. That takes time and effort. Euro group chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem was putting on a brave face as ministers arrived in Brussels. (SOUNDBITE) (English), EUROGROUP CHAIRMAN, JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, SAYING: "I think the Germans are putting forward understandable questions, which will have to be dealt with. But I don't see why that should stop us making progress on banking union." The euro zone's 17 members want a union supervised by the European Central Bank and a rescue mechanism for the bloc's banks. Some are more desperate for it than others - especially those with troubled banking sectors like Spain, Portugal and France. French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER, PIERRE MOSCOVICI, SAYING: "We absolutely need to have the political will of a global union. This is absolutely necessary if we want to stop the fragmentation of the financial sector in Europe." But analysts have heard it all before says Charles Stanley's Jeremy Batstone-Carr. (SOUNDBITE) (English): JEREMY BATSTONE-CARR, DIRECTOR PRIVATE CLIENT RESEARCH, CHARLES STANLEY, SAYING: "It's really an issue that should have been addressed 14, 15, 16 years ago but wasn't. I am not entirely convinced that cobbling something together now is going to help and I am not sure the region is going to make an enormous amount of progress on it. Is it desirable? Yes, but perhaps not in these conditions." "These conditions" partly mean meagre growth. The g word is again up for discussion as are bailouts to struggling euro zone countries. The first 3bln euro tranche of aid to Cyprus was due to be approved as was the latest instalment of Greece's package. And there are new causes for concern too. Escalating social unrest in Spain and Slovenia's efforts to avoid becoming yet another member needing a bailout.

Seeking unity on banking union

Monday, May 13, 2013 - 02:00

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