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Eurozone debt crisis: Tim Geithner rebuffed over cash injection – live

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Watch the live stream of the Ecofin meeting here

11.58am ET: This rather lovely Guardian interactive gives some more context to how the EU economies compare. Is more economic and fiscal union the answer?

11.47am ET: If you’re watching the live video from Ecofin, you’ll just have been treated to strange scenes of Polish people crashing trains and shooting at each other. Now they are lifting people out of trees with helicopters. Some sort of demonstration of disaster response, apparently. Sadly they were not as prepared for financial crisis.

The finance chiefs are all having their pics taken. UK chancellor George Osborne and Tim Geithner are having a chat. Osbourne just flew in from Manchester, where he warned that “time is short” to solve the crisis. Someone is shouting: “Look at me, please” a lot. You can eavesdrop a bit. One of them said: “It’s not enough.” Mysterious! Not enough what?

11.45am ET: Moody’s is refusing to comment on market speculation that it is poised to make a decision on Italy’s credit rating.

The chat in the Square Mile in London has been that a downgrade may be imminent, as it’s three months since Moody’s put Italy on negative watch.

My colleague Phillip Inman just got off the phone with Moody’s: they say that the 90-day deadline to make a decision is actually a guideline rather than a tightly binding limit. And legally, if they were about to make an announcement then they certainly couldn’t tell the media.

One to watch for the next few hours …

11.38am ET: More news from the European markets: Italy’s MIB is down 0.7%, Spain’s IBEX is flat.

France’s CAC was the worst performer, down around 1% after the late wobble in its banking sector.

11.36am ET: The FTSE has just closed, up 0.77% at 5379.

11.29am ET: Barack Obama is going to meet European heads of state to talk about the finance crisis when they arrive in New York for the UN meeting next week. Presuming that Tim doesn’t get it all sorted out over the weekend, of course. So he’s got that, plus the vote on Palestinian statehood to deal with. Wonder if he’s started smoking again?

11.26am ET: We’re also waiting for the next press conference, which kicks off at 12.30pm EDT (5.30pm BST).

You can see it live here.

11.19am ET: As Graeme Wearden said earlier, it sounds like there was a clash of views between Geithner and the German and Austrian finance ministers at the meeting in Poland.

Austria’s finance minister Maria Fekter has revealed that Geithner was rebuffed after urging EU finance ministers to inject more money into the system. EU ministers then suggested that a financial transaction tax would be the only way to generate extra capital for the system – an idea that Geithner wouldn’t agree to.

Here’s the quotes off the wires:

He conveyed dramatically that we need to commit money to avoid bringing the system into difficulty.

Fekter added:

I found it peculiar that even though the Americans have significantly worse fundamental data than the eurozone, that they tell us what we should do and when we make a suggestion … they say no straight away.

Germany’s Wolfgang Schäuble is also rumoured to have shot down Geithner’s call for a more expansionist fiscal policy to get the European economy growing faster.

As we said earlier this morning, Geithner was expected to urge the EU officials to leverage-up the reserves in the EFTF fund.

Other officials have indicated that this idea is still being discussed by some of the working parties in Wroclaw.

11.10am ET: Hi, this is Dominic Rushe in New York, taking over from Graeme Wearden, who is off for a well-earned rest.

The meeting of Euro finance ministers, with guest appearance by the US’s Tim Geithner, is now in full swing. Stock markets in the UK and US are a-jitter.

The FT is reporting that Tim Geithner has read the riot act to his Polish pals, warning of “catastrophic risk” to financial markets if something isn’t done.

Speaking at the sidelines of the ministerial gathering, Geithner said:

What is very damaging from the outside is to see not just the divisiveness [in Europe] in the broader debate, about strategy, but the ongoing conflict between the governments and the central bank and you need both to work together to do what is essential for the resolution of any crisis.

He added:

Governments and central banks have to take out the catastrophic risk from markets, they have to definitively remove the threat of…cascading defaults [and avoid] loose talk about dismantling the institutions of the euro. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds