World News Brief, Thursday October 27

EU leaders meet, under pressure to find comprehensive solution to crisis; Italy's woes – pensions, infrastructure and youth unemployment (+ analysis); Panetta says North Korea a "serious threat" as talks end; Libya wants NATO to stay; New African democracies win import help; and more

Top of the Agenda: EU Leaders Hold Second Summit in a Week

European leaders prepared to meet in Brussels for their second summit since Sunday, slated as the final opportunity to deliver a comprehensive solution (NYT) to the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
Officials Officials will discuss expanding the temporary European Financial Stability Facility, recapitalizing the continent's exposed banks, and the terms of a second bailout for Greece--including losses for private creditors. But on the eve of the meeting, Europe's banks continued to oppose a restructuring plan (WSJ) for Greek debt that would see private holders of Greek bonds take write-downs of close to 60 percent.

Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, facing dissent within his governing coalition, has failed to implement economic reforms (DeutscheWelle) insisted upon by Berlin and Paris. Italy is the third largest eurozone state--after Germany and France--and most at risk to sovereign debt contagion from Greece.


The fate of the EU is in doubt as a crucial summit prepares to address the economic crisis. But the union will likely survive and could even grow stronger by creating more capable institutions to oversee the euro, says CFR's Charles Kupchan in this CFR Interview.

Political divisions continue to hamper a comprehensive solution to the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. EU leaders are 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.

The eurozone, once seen as a crowning achievement in the decades-long path of European integration, is buffeted by a sovereign debt crisis of nations whose membership in the currency union has been poorly policed, explains this CFR Backgrounder.



Panetta Visits South Korea

Addressing US and South Korean troops in Seoul, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called North Korea a "serious threat" (NYT). Panetta, on a week-long trip to Asia, is set to meet with US commanders and South Korean military leaders to discuss how best to respond to North Korean incitements.

Meanwhile, the United States concluded two days of talks with North Korea (BBC) in Geneva over restarting multilateral negotiations to end the North's nuclear weapons program. US negotiator Stephen Bosworth called the meeting "constructive," but said further bilateral discussions are needed.

In this CFR paper, Han Sung-joo, former South Korean foreign minister and ambassador to the United States, writes on emerging challenges to US-ROK relations.



Libya's NTC asks NATO to extend stay

New democracies get trade waivers from US

World's oldest bank hit by Euro crisis


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