The G20 Nations Just Put Italy in Time Out

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The G20 meetings in Cannes have yielded plenty of verbal support for the ailing euro zone, but so far, nobody's willing to actually cough up any cash. Meanwhile, Italy's in deep trouble — but we already knew that — as they've been "effectively placed under IMF supervision." Reuters reports on the latest talks:

Leaders of the world's major economies, meeting on the French Riviera, told Europe to sort out its own problems and deferred until next year any move to provide more crisis-fighting resources to the International Monetary Fund.

"There are hardly any countries here which said they were ready to go along with the EFSF (euro zone rescue fund)," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference.

President Obama also weighed in at a press conference. "They're going to have a strong partner in us, but European leaders understand that what is ultimately important is to have a strong signal from Europe that they are standing behind the euro," the president said. 

The IMF is handling vulnerable European countries like Italy with kid gloves. While IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and Silvio Berlusconi tell different stories about how Italy has so far ended up without any rescue funds, the Italian president has agreed "to seek national consensus to drive through austerity measures." Reuters again:

"I see this as evidence of how important Italy's reform process is for the country and for the euro zone as a whole," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.

The Commission will also monitor Italy, conducting a first assessment next week. But the IMF's new role takes the euro zone crisis to a new level and suggests that markets no longer trust the EU to police its own economies.

Based on the photos we've seen come over the newswires, Berlusconi is also taking the limits of his colleagues' frustration to a new level, as well. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.