BRUSSELS Dec 2 EU officials have debated
calling an emergency summit of euro zone leaders after Sunday's
Italian referendum if a government defeat brings market
turbulence, but key figures see no need for such a move, sources
said on Friday.
Two sources with knowledge of discussions over the past days
told Reuters some officials, particularly those who believe the
19 euro zone leaders should meet more often, had urged European
Council President Donald Tusk to make plans for a Euro summit in
case defeat for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's constitutional
reforms puts the currency under market pressure.
One official said the referendum was causing "jitters" in
Brussels, as it may weaken Italy's ailing banking sector and
affect the outcome of a 5-billion-euros ($5.3-billion) capital
hike arranged by Banca Monte dei Paschi, the country's
third largest lender, to plug a capital shortfall.
However, those and other sources said, Tusk had rejected the
argument and saw no reason to prepare for a summit.
Tusk declined to comment. Sources said the Council chief saw
no reason to expect a major market reaction and doubted whether
a special summit would help, even if there was one.
But if there was a strong request from national leaders in
the euro zone, notably from the big powers Germany and France,
then Tusk would be expected to organise a euro zone summit.
All 28 EU leaders are due to meet on Dec. 15, while euro
zone finance ministers will hold a regular meeting in Brussels
The last Euro summit of euro zone heads of state and
government was on July 12 last year when leaders reached a deal
on a third bailout for Greece.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by Janet Lawrence)