Buying time for Italy, Spain a top priority
Future of euro remains uncertain
European leaders return to work this week seeking to buy time for the Spanish and Italian governments to wrest control over their debt and rescue the single currency from fragmentation as the region’s crisis enters a new year. Some $203 billion in debt will mature in the 17-member euro area in the first three months of 2012, according to UBS AG. By the end of that period, leaders have pledged to draft a stricter rulebook on reining in debt. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France will meet in Berlin next Monday to flesh out the details.