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European leaders have agreed a deal on a banking union.
France and the European Commission arrived at the summit keen to run ahead with a new European bank supervisory mechanism to be in place by January, but the cautious German chancellor, Angela Merkel said she thinks baby steps are needed first: “Concerning the move towards banking supervision, we have decided to move forward with the principle that quality is more important than rapidity. This means we will not have a working banking supervision at the beginning of 2013.”
The summit agreement now says that “work on the operational implementation will take place in the course of 2013” rather than in January.
European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy hailed the result of the summit as highly successful: “This is a small revolution, it means that we’ll have only one supervisor for the whole Europe, who – to a certain extent – will replace all the national supervisors.
“You know the source of our problem is the financial crisis. Now we will have only one supervisor for Europe, if we had this in 2008 I don’t think the crisis would have reached this level.”
The art of compromise has prevailed once again in Europe, but there is still much more that needs to be done, as the Spanish and Greek emergencies are still waiting.