'More unity needed to combat crisis' say Monti, Merkel
Leaders reflect on 'positive week for Europe' in phone meeting14 September, 19:15
Merkel's press officer Steffen Seibert added separately that the two leaders had agreed during the phone conversation to stay in tight contact ahead of the upcoming European Council meeting in October when the European economic and monetary union is to be discussed. On Wednesday Germany's constitutional court approved the country's participation in the European Stability Mechanism fund (ESM), the fund that has been hailed as a permanent bailout mechanism for eurozone members suffering under the weight of their public debt and soaring bond yields. One of the provisions the ESM will be able to enact is that of buying member-state bonds to curb spiking bond yields at times of great market turbulence.
The ruling was widely seen as a victory for Merkel, though many issues such as Greece's future within the eurozone and Spain and Italy's public finances still remain unresolved for the area. The ESM will be operational by October this year, Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said at a press conference after a summit of the group on Friday. By that time, the first 32 billion euros will have been transferred into the fund's capital.
Both leaders were "jointly preoccupied with the current Middle Eastern situation, following the recent outbreaks of violence".