In Brussels, Merkel said it’s an open question whether European policy makers can meet the deadline they’d set hours earlier to establish a euro-area bank supervisor by year-end.
“There are complicated questions to clarify and we’ll see in December if we complete it or not,” Merkel told reporters after a two-day European Union summit wrapped up today. “For now, the political will is there.”
The European Central Bank is set become the currency zone’s main financial supervisor by Jan. 1, raising the prospect of direct aid to Spain’s banks during 2013, the 27 EU leaders agreed at the gathering. The system will phase in and could cover all 6,000 euro-area banks by Jan. 1, 2014.
Spain already has secured a 100 billion-euro ($130 billion) financial-sector lifeline and has so far not sought to asked for aid that would unlock ECB bond-buying.