The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers meets, followed by the full Ecofin on Tuesday, to try and unpick the Gordian Knot that is banking union.
The ministers are seeking to create an agency to close euro zone banks and a fund to pay for the clean-up – completing a new system to prevent a repeat of the bloc’s debt crisis.
But Germany, which does not want to foot the bill for failures elsewhere, is wary not least because a coalition deal to form the next government has yet to win final approval from the Social Democrats.
Berlin also wants European countries to decide the fate of failing banks rather than the European Commission or some other independent body, raising the prospect of a clutch of countries banding together to veto decisions.
An impromptu meeting of key finance ministers in Berlin on Friday broke up without any proclamations – so it could be that they remain miles apart or that they have stitched something up and are keeping quiet about since so many other governments weren’t involved in the talks. The former is more likely.