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European leaders meet in relatively calm times

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti passes in front an honour guard with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy prior to their meeting at the Villa Doria Pamphili in Rome on September 21, 2012.

European leaders are meeting in Rome today.

The continent has been in a state of relative calm for a couple of weeks, ever since the European Central Bank bought time for troubled nations with a plan to buy up  unlimited amounts of government bonds.

But chaos often seems just below the surface. So what are those troubled nation's talking about today?

"What else, in the Eternal City, than the eternal problem," says Marketplace's Stephen Beard, "of debt, deficit, and the danger of default."

Despite these developments, Greece still remains the most likely to fall out of the euro zone. And Spain continues to come closer and closer to needing a bailout --  though it has thus far refused to asked for such help.

Following the meeting, Italy and Greece put out a joint statement that they have no intentions of ever leaving the euro.

"It's really nice to hear they're so optimistic," says Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial. "I guess I would feel better about it if it wasn't the 21st summit meeting in three years, and if they would just get started tackling the big problems."

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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