March 15 - The euro zone debt crisis was been firmly back on the agenda on Friday with parliament voting in Italy, repayment extensions for Portugal and bailout plans for Cyprus. All this while EU leaders were meeting in Brussels. Joel Flynn reports on what decisions - if any - were made.
The Ides of March reenacted by gladiators, as Italy's politicians battle for power. Elections have left the country at an impasse and parliament has been trying to find a way forward. There was some good news for the politicians. EU leaders have agreed to a little more leeway on their budget and others like them. Jan Randolph is from IHS Global Insight. SOUNDBITE: IHS Global Insight Director of Sovereign Risk Analysis, Jan Randolph, saying (English): "They're obviously aware of what's been happening in the southern euro zone and the Italian politics, the results of the Italian elections, and they want to play fair in a sense and say 'ok, if this is the voice of the Italian people then we will be flexible in terms of our budget targets' but the overall thrust of where the budget should go is not in question." Europe's leaders also promised to do more to fight unemployment. Welcome words for Portugal where one in two young people are out of work. Welcome too was a change of to its bailout terms - it's been given another year to make spending cuts Finance ministers then turned their attention to Cyprus - the tiny Mediterranean island needs a bailout but EU countries can't agree how much. 10 billion euros is possible with bank depositors controversially picking up another 7 billion. Standard Chartered's Thomas Costerg says SOUNDBITE: Standard Chartered economist, Thomas Costerg, saying (English): "Now it's not a huge amount, but the way they proceed with Cyprus, especially they proceed with the banks, will have a lot of consequences for the rest of Europe, so that's why I think people should watch how the developments continue there." Some may say Europe has made progress after this week's summit. But the fight to end the euro debt crisis is clearly not over yet.