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Markets slide as Slovakia bailout vote goes down to wire

Posted By admin Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Financial markets have stumbled today as Slovakia holds a knife-edge vote on whether to increase the eurozone bailout fund and the European Union postpones a key summit on Greece.The FTSE 100 has slid 41.9 points to 5,357.1, and it is a similar picture on the continent where the German DAX is down 39 points at 5,808 and the French CAC 40 is 28 points lower at 3,133.Slovakia is the last of the 17 countries in the eurozone bloc to hold a vote on boosting the size and powers of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) after Malta approved it yesterday.The meeting of political leaders was supposed to begin next Monday but has been pushed back by a week to give international inspectors more time to complete their work in Athens.Monitors from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union are busy trying to gauge whether Greece is fulfilling promises made under last year’s £95billion bailout.But the delay will raise fears that the ‘troika’ could withhold the next slug of bailout funds, forcing Greece into default and triggering pandemonium on financial markets.It is also a setback for France and Germany, which this weekend claimed to have reached ‘total’ agreement over a plan to shield the fragile European banking sector from the debt storm.German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy have given themselves until the start of November to agree a deal to strengthen Europe’s beleaguered banks.

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