Beyond the World news headlines
Half time at the euro zone cup final
Covering a summit of European leaders is a bit like covering a soccer match with no ticket for the stadium and no live TV broadcast to watch. The only way you have an idea of the scoreline is from the groans and cheers from inside the ground.
With EU leaders meeting on Brussels on Sunday and again on Wednesday to try to resolve the region’s debt crisis, the emergency back-to-back summits look like a game of two halves.
A European Commission spokeswoman said as much on Monday, trying to explain why there had been no major announcements so far on solving the debt crisis: leaders had gone in for half time.
So who is playing whom? “Euro zone versus financial markets” would seem to fit the bill, although mostly it feels it is France against Germany, with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy the referee, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy getting caught out by Germany’s off-side trap every time.
Even from outside the stadium, you can hear the adulation from the Finnish and Dutch fans when they see coach Angela Merkel on the touchline, although some Greeks are angry she won’t pay for more first aid for their injured players.
The euro team has become infamous for own goals of late and the pressure is on to avoid regulation.
So at the second half on Wednesday, the euro squad will come back out onto the field to an impatient crowd and needing to win 3-0 to be certain of victory.
They may have scored an early first-half goal.
But if the euro team is going to win, they might only do so with a goal from a free kick in the last minute of extra time. But they can’t risk any fake diving by the Italians or any red cards for the Spanish.
That might hand investors a penalty and relegate the euro team for a long time to come.