Under intense pressure at the G20 summit in Mexico to take more decisive action to contain the European sovereign debt crisis, eurozone leaders were reported last night to be preparing to allow the Continent’s bailout funds to intervene directly in the capital markets to ease the pressure on Spain and Italy.
G20 sources suggested that Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, was preparing to allow eurozone institutions to begin buying bonds issued by member state’s governments. The purpose of the intervention would be to bring down sovereign bond yields of weaker eurozone states, which have been pushed up to unsustainable levels by wary investors in recent months. Spanish 10-year yields this week hit their highest levels in the history of the single currency at 7.28 per cent.
An impending move was hinted at by the Chancellor George Osborne last night. “We will see what the eurozone announce in the next couple of weeks, but there is no doubt that they realise that individual measures in individual countries are by themselves not enough,” he said.
Whoever knocked some sense into Merkel’s head should be commended.