Photo: Felix O. on Flickr
The can European leaders have been kicking down the road has now become a barrel.With bank recapitalization rumours more than just hearsay, the European Financial Stability Facility nearing ratification, and Greece on the verge of a bailout, the eurozone crisis seems to be nearing an end.
October will be a busy month for eurozone leaders, with European Council and G-20 meetings ahead.
Here are the dates you need to be keeping track of.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Berlin on Sunday, starting at 11 AM EST (1500 GMT). They'll be preparing for a meeting of EU leaders on October 17-18.
We'll be watching for any consideration they give to bank recapitalization, as well as their sentiment on going forward with a Greek bailout despite the country's failure to meet deficit-reduction goals.
Malta will vote on the EFSF. The tiny EU country delayed an earlier vote, after an MP asked for updated information on the size of Malta's financial obligations under the plan.
The opposition has said it will vote in favour of the bailout, though it has ruled out endorsing any further aid.
Slovakia votes on the EFSF. The country has been seen as the biggest impediment to passing the bill.
Approval seems likely, though the outcome may not be pretty for the Slovakian government. The rebel coalition SaS party said they would pass the bill without approving a provision for the European Stability Mechanism (the permanent successor to the EFSF). The opposition will probably vote in favour of a second vote, under the condition that the government quit, call elections, or reorganize.
The Group of 20 finance ministers will convene in Paris on October 14.
By this point, we might know if the EFSF has been ratified, and we'll get some sense of how desperate the situation is getting. BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) finance ministers last month said that the G-20 would be in charge of any attempts to bail out Europe, so we'll be looking to see if that could be a possibility.
Greek workers will hold a 24-hour general strike in October 19.
Nearly constant strikes have been going on for over a month now in Athens, recently even turning violent. This one could, too, as austerity escalates.
The European Central Bank's Governing Council will meet in Brussels. While they're not likely to see any decisions, we could hear rumours about a rate cut in November or even further measures to stabilise the troubled currency area.
€2 billion in Greek Treasury bills mature.
We'll probably know by then whether the EFSF has been ratified, and how long the country can hold out.
The EU Council will convene in Brussels, after European Council President Herman Van Rompuy delayed the meeting from October 17.
They will discuss the implementation of the EFSF bailout plan (which will hopefully have been approved by then) as well as how bank recapitalizations could work. We'll be looking to see whether leaders delayed the meeting because they are nearing a plan to fix the crisis, or whether they're just trying to buy time to concoct one.
Italian Mario Draghi will replace French Jean-Claude Trichet at the helm of the ECB.
Hopes run high that he will take a more activist role to prevent eurozone catastrophe than his predecessor, particularly given that Italy is slow-growing and one of the most vulnerable countries to the contagion that could emanate from Greece.
The European Central Bank will make its first policy decision under the leadership of Mario Draghi.
Consensus is already for a rate cut.