0629 merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a press conference during a second day of the European Union leaders summit in Brussels on June 29, 2012. - 

Jeremy Hobson: It appears European leaders have come up with an agreement to ease the debt crisis somewhat. And the deal rests on Germany compromising on how bailout money is used.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: Since the crisis began, the struggling euro zone countries have been begging Germany for help. And at this summit the Germans have given some ground. They've agreed that the bailout fund should lend directly to banks that are in trouble, and not just to  governments. This should mean the governments in trouble won't slide even deeper into debt.

The Germans agreed to this on one condition: that there's euro zone wide bank supervision to make sure the banks don't waste the money. But the Germans have not given way on the really big issue.

Holger Schmieding of the German bank Berenberg says Germany still won't shoulder the debts of its euro zone partners:

Holger Schmieding: That is a longer term process. On those Germany will only yield more if other countries are ready to cede more sovereignty to European -- you could say German -- institutions.

So the fundamental conflict at the heart of this crisis goes on.

In London I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.