EUROZONE CRISIS: Here's What's Next

Euro

Photo: markusram via Flickr

Slovakia is still bickering over passage of a plan to expand the EFSF, but the rejection of a first vote shouldn’t slow down the plan for long.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.

It 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.

Sometime this week.

Only Slovakia stands in the way of EFSF approval. The Slovak Parliament rejected a first vote on the plan, toppling the ruling coalition. Now the parliament will vote again, this time with help expected from the opposition Smer Party.

The EFSF will pass, marking the conclusion to the long and drawn out approval process by all 17 eurozone countries.

Friday, October 14 - Saturday, October 15

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.

Wednesday, October 19

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.

Thursday, October 20

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.

Friday, October 21

€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.

Sunday, October 23

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.

Monday, October 24

The EC/ECB/IMF troika may issue a final report on Greece.

Today inspectors rubber stamped the next dispersion of $11 billion in aid for Greece, all but affirming that aid will be distributed, likely early next month. This is the troika's last escape from that course of action.

Tuesday, November 1

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.

Thursday, November 3

The European Central Bank will make its first policy decision under the leadership of Mario Draghi.

Consensus is already for a rate cut.

Thursday, November 3 - Friday, November 4

G20 Leaders meet in Cannes.

rumours of a eurozone bailout were sparked at the joint World Bank/IMF meeting last month, when the BRICS countries said they would look to the G20 to take action. We'll see if G20 leaders show any interest in that prospect.

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