By Timothy Heritage
BRUSSELS, May 21 (Reuters) – Agreeing on a $1 trillion safety net may prove the easy part of saving the euro now the European Union’s leaders are turning to the divisive issue of tightening economic policy coordination.
The European Commission wants to reinforce economic surveillance and budget discipline to strengthen the euro zone and prevent a repeat of Greece’s debt crisis in any of the other 15 countries that use the single currency.
But a battle is looming over the proposals even before the first meeting on Friday of a task force set up by EU President Herman Van Rompuy to come up with ideas on how to toughen EU budget rules and improve policy coordination.
A call by the Commission to see governments’ budget plans before they are submitted to national parliaments has caused some countries to fear their sovereignty is threatened.
Divisions have also been exposed by a German ban this week on short-selling, despite a vow by Berlin and Paris on Thursday to work together on the euro zone crisis.