December 5, 2013 / 7:58 PM / 6 years ago

Euro zone officials to meet on banking union on Friday: report

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has invited euro zone officials to a meeting in Berlin on Friday in a bid to come closer to a solution on a planned European resolution mechanism to deal with troubled banks, a German newspaper said on Friday.

File photo of sculpture showing the Euro currency sign in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski/Files

Business daily Handelsblatt cited unnamed EU diplomats and German government sources as saying Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen and European Union regulation chief Michel Barnier were all expected to attend.

Two euro zone sources told Reuters the finance ministers of Germany, France, Italy and possibly Spain would meet in Berlin on Friday. The sources said Dijsselbloem would likely attend and Barnier was expected. Asmussen will also be present.

A French Finance Ministry source told Reuters Moscovici was going at Germany’s invitation.

The German Finance Ministry, contacted by Reuters, did not confirm the meeting but said: “There are currently lots of discussions taking place at all levels.”

Schaeuble indicated on Wednesday he was ready to find a compromise on which European Union institution should have the ultimate say on closing down banks in the euro zone.

The EU wants to agree a deal on bank resolution by year-end but Germany’s staunch opposition to the European Commission’s proposal to be the single resolution authority has proven a hurdle in talks.

EU diplomats cited by Handelsblatt said Schaeuble wanted to bring momentum to the issue with a new German compromise proposal.

It cited sources in Brussels as saying EU countries’ positions on the bank resolution mechanism were so different that it was becoming ever more unlikely that euro zone finance ministers would reach an agreement by the year-end.

A European Commission spokesman told Reuters: “There are many meetings at all levels, every day, as you would expect and as negotiations progress to find agreement on all banking union files before the end of the year.”

Euro zone finance ministers are due to meet next week in Brussels, where they will discuss the bank resolution mechanism.

Reporting by Michelle Martin, Annika Breidthardt, Gernot Heller and Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Francesco Guarascio in Brussels and Leigh Thomas in Paris; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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