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David Brancaccio: In Brussels this evening, it’s being called an “informal dinner” for European leaders to come up with next steps for stopping the European debt crisis.
Joining us now from Brussels is the BBC’s Duncan Crawford. Good morning, Duncan.
Duncan Crawford: Good morning.
Brancaccio: Give me a sense of what they’re talking about. We hear moving away a bit from austerity, moving toward growth. But in terms of policy, what might that mean?
Crawford: Well there’s no formal agenda for this meeting, so a lot of ideas are going to be discussed. People will be talking about euro bonds, more cash for the European investment bank. And like you say, there’s this debate about austerity, and about growth.
Brancaccio: On the euro bonds thing — this is something in particular that Germans don’t like. It means that if country A spends too much, and borrows too much to do so, Germans and other parts of Europe are really on the hook.
Crawford: Yeah, and it would be a significant step towards closer fiscal union. Germany’s line on this, really, is that by combining debt, Germany would have to pay for countries which haven’t got their finances in order, potentially leading to another Greek scenario down the line — where a country can borrow at low interest rates without sorting out its finances.
Brancaccio: And we see it’s an informal meeting of European leaders — where it’s going to be and just how informal, do you think?
Crawford: Well I don’t think they’ll be in sandals and t-shirts, put it that way. It’s basically a discussion to try and formulate some policies that they can agree on for a formal summit which is taking place in a month’s time where hopefully they will be able to sign off some ideas which will actually try and sort out the euro zone debt crisis.
Brancaccio: The BBC’s Duncan Crawford in Brussels, thank you very much.
Crawford: Thank you, David.
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