Talks on the scale of a bailout deal to rescue the single currency were wavering – then the President intervened
By John Lichfield | Wednesday, 12 May 2010
The European Central Bank should perhaps mint a celebratory euro coin with Barack Obama's head on it. As the dust settles and the markets cool (perhaps temporarily), details are beginning to emerge of the frantic background negotiations which generated the €750bn plan to save the euro in the early hours of Monday. US officials – but not just US officials – are giving some of the credit to President Obama.
French presidential sources insist that the hero of the hour was Nicolas Sarkozy but that his newly-adopted policy of presidential decorum prevents him from blowing a whole brass section of trumpets, as he would have done a couple of months ago. The whole deal almost collapsed just after midnight, when EU finance ministers had already been meeting for nine hours. The Italian Prime Minister is said to have brokered a telephone compromise between Mr Sarkozy and Germany's Angela Merkel, which allowed an agreement to be announced just as the Tokyo markets were opening at 2am Brussels' time.
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So, my European cousins, do you think this will work? Or will the market's turn against it?How instrumental do you think Obama was in getting it done? What do your countries think of it? Did Obama putting his hat in help people accept it? Or is everyone still pissed about this?