EU leaders reach deal on debt crisis--Asian and European markets rise as a result; Angela Merkel is getting credit for her calm approach to the crisis; US says there is no indication North Korea is serious about ending nuclear weapons programme; Qaddafi's fugitive son gives himself up, asks for flight to The Hague; World Bank offers Peru $3 billion to sustain economic growth; Ireland holds presidential election; and more

Top of the Agenda: EU Leaders Reach Deal on Debt Crisis

European leaders announced a long-awaited "comprehensive" plan (WSJ) to tackle a eurozone sovereign debt crisis that has threatened global economic stability.

Officials billed the deal as a "three-pronged" agreement (BBC) that would provide Greece with a second bailout package to meet its debt obligations, including a voluntary 50 percent write-down by private creditors; require €106 billion in recapitalizations for the continent's exposed banks; and leverage the €450 billion temporary European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) by at least fourfold, bringing its lending capacity to around €1 trillion.

The expanded EFSF (NYT) is meant as a buffer to protect the large indebted economies of Spain and Italy from further sovereign debt contagion.

Asian and European markets were up (DeutscheWelle) following the deal, while the euro rose above $1.40 for the first time since September.

Analysis

With Thursday's decisions in Brussels, Europe has made good progress toward saving the euro, writes Der Spiegel's Roland Nelles, which is in large part due to the work of the German chancellor. Angela Merkel's approach--to decelerate rather than succumb to panic--is starting to pay off.

"Muddling through" is better than a "heroic disaster," argues this Guardian editorial.

In this CFR Interview, CFR's Charles Kupchan says the EU will likely survive and could even grow stronger by creating more capable institutions to oversee the euro.

EU leaders have been caught between market forces urging greater European fiscal integration and strong nationalist sentiments warning against a loss of political sovereignty, explains this CFR Analysis Brief.

 

PACIFIC RIM

U.S. Military Skeptical about North Korea Talks

Senior U.S. military officials said there was no indication that North Korea was serious about ending its nuclear weapons program, while Defense Secretary Leon Panetta accused Pyongyang of "reckless and provocative" (WSJ) behavior. The two countries held bilateral talks earlier this week in Geneva.

In a visit to Seoul, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said North Korea is willing to engage in talks with the South in order to ease tensions (Yonhap) on the Korean peninsula. Li met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il earlier in the week.

This CFR Independent Task Force Report identifies elements of an internationally coordinated response to the threat posed by North Korea: denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, regional cohesion, and China's cooperation and engagement.

 

ELSEWHERE:

Qaddafi's fugitive son Saif al-Islam asks for passage to criminal court at The Hague

World Bank offers Peru $3 billion to sustain economic growth

Ireland holds presidential election

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org.

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