Europe considers a ‘banking union’
Authority would be granted more financial muscle
As Europe’s debt crisis intensifies, top officials say the continent urgently needs a central authority with the financial muscle to fix broken banks. The proposal could give immediate relief to Spain’s increasingly fragile economy, with its borrowing rates rising to unsustainable levels, rattling investors. The European Commission called Wednesday for a ‘‘banking union’’ that could oversee and, if needed, bail out banks without having to go through national governments. It would have the power to force banks to heal their finances and have access to a pool of money to rescue banks, lifting pressure off individual countries, like Spain, that are already strapped for cas.