December 8th, 2011
03:27 AM GMT
(CNN) - Last week Olli Rehn, Europe's Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, warned the eurozone was entering a critical phase to solve its debt crisis, which has deepened since Greece took its first bailout in May 2010. Rehn said the region has "10 days to complete and conclude the crisis response of the European Union."
Quest Means Business has been counting down the 10 days leading to the critical eurozone summit that begins late Thursday in Brussels. Some key moments so far:
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s grip-and-grin comment as he traveled to France to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy ahead of Friday’s critical meeting. But implicit in Geithner’s whistlestop tour of Europe is pressure from the U.S. for the eurozone to find a solution to the mounting crisis.
December 7 – A leaked memo reveals that European nations could be penalized by being stripped of some powers if they fail to manage their budgets, according to the note sent to leaders from European Commission President Herman Van Rompuy. The confidential proposal, obtained by CNN’s Nina dos Santos, suggested details of a plan perhaps even stricter that of those German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Any perceived loss of sovereignty could well be a sticking point for the 17 nations as they ready for Friday’s important summit.
December 6 – World markets in Asia and Europe awaken to the news that S&P issued an unprecedented downgrade warning to 15 of the eurozone's member nations – including Germany and France, the twin economic titans of euro currency members.
December 5 – Italy's new prime minister, Mario Monti, presents a proposal with $41 billion in new taxes and spending cuts for a start of "painful measures" to help the eurozone's third largest economy emerge from its budget crisis.
December 2 - World markets rally, and Europe markets finish their best week of gains since 2008.
December 1 - We heard the first talk of stronger fiscal union among the 17 nations united under the single currency. Unlike other currencies, the euro members still have separate tax rates, budgets and other fiscal planning.
November 30 – The U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and other central banks took co-ordinated action to oil the wheels of the world's financial system.
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