Infighting dogs Europe's leader as they search for a way out of euro crisis


Silvio Berlusconi shows the pressure at yesterday's Euro Summit in Brussels. There is no relief in sight for Italy's Prime Minister as his colleagues pile pressure on him to take the necessary steps to stave off a possible sovereign debt crisis in Italy.


Georges Gobet

Europe's political leaders continue to search for a way out of the euro crisis. But they are acting more and more like a players on a pennant contender who have dropped 11 out of 14 games in September and are going to miss the playoffs. Everybody is pointing the finger at their teammates and saying, this is all your fault.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told British Prime Minister David Cameron to shut up yesterday.

Then Sarkozy joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel to read the riot act to Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Enough talking about reforming Italy's economy, they told him, the time to act is now, before the price of Italian bonds becomes so huge that a sovereign debt crisis engulfs the Euro zone's third largest economy (one that does very well in exports, btw).

If being yelled at by his counterparts wasn't bad enough, Berlusconi had to endure a dressing down from by Team Euro's coaches, EU commission president Jose Manuel Barrosso, and European Council president, Herman von Rompuy (the EU is not understaffed at the presidential level, as you can see).

The British press is having a field day with Sarkozy telling Cameron to shut up. According to the Guardian, yesterday's final session was held up for two hours while the pair argued. It quotes Sarkozy saying, "You have lost a good opportunity to shut up." He added: "We are sick of you criticising us and telling us what to do. You say you hate the euro and now you want to interfere in our meetings."

Well, Britain is part of the EU and its economy ... already flatlining ... would undobutedly get swamped if the euro breaks up with the inevitable plunging of Europe into prolonged recession. So perhaps Cameron should be allowed to have a say.

Maybe Sarkozy, was just feeling a bit peeved ... France lost to New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup final yesterday by a single point. Sarko is a fan.

Cameron must feel he is getting it from all sides. Today, his own Conservative MPs are having an emergency debate on a motion demanding a referendum on the UK's continued membership in the EU. They won't win the vote but they will be able to give full vent to their euro-scepticism ... which borders on visceral hatred of the EU. Many of Cameron's fellow Conservatives would like Britain to leave the EU altogether.

Doesn't matter: in or out, if the Euro fails so will the British economy.

And finally:

Mayor Mike, watch out! The London branch of the Occupy Wall Street movement has opened a new camp outside the headquarters of Bloomberg News' HQ here. The weather has been terrific recently ... I reckon they will be there for a while.