German Chancellor Angela Merkel predicted on Wednesday a euro zone bailout fund would be ratified this month despite rejection by Slovakia, and said all of Europe must help fight the crisis. But she warned that dealing with the continent’s debt crisis will be long and even painful.
Slovakian lawmakers on Tuesday rejected participating in an expanded euro rescue fund that is aimed at shoring up confidence in the ability of euro members to survive the financial crisis. Slovakia’s 1-year-old coalition government also fell with the vote because the prime minister had tied it to a confidence measure.
Greek deficit widens
Greece’s central government deficit continued to grow in the first nine months of the year despite a series of austerity measures designed to raise revenues, figures from the country’s finance ministry showed on Wednesday.
The central government deficit stood at €19.2 billion ($26.1 billion) for January to September from €16.65 billion in the same period last year. The increase was slightly lower than the government forecast of a rise to €19.24 billion.
Cyprus’s struggling economy will retract 1% in 2012 from flat growth this year due to a worsening deficit and euro zone instability, according to a preliminary estimate by visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials on Wednesday. “A climate of tight credit and uncertainty is likely to dampen both consumption and investment... The economy to register a small contraction in 2012,” said IMF official Wes McGrew. AFP/AP