The banking sector was due to take centre stage on Saturday, as EU finance ministers gathered in Poland for a second day of informal meetings, amid continuing worries over the euro zone’s debt crisis.
Central bank presidents attended the talks, which were taking place days after the European Central Bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank joined forces to flood financial markets with dollars to bolster confidence.
The meeting also came in the same week as a credit downgrade for two of France’s leading banks over their exposure to Greek debt.
The ministers were planning to find “possible ways to restore confidence in European markets and improve financial stability,” said Polish officials, whose country currently holds the European Union’s presidency.
They were also due to discuss stress tests that had been carried out earlier this year on European banks and the status of financial sector reforms, including a proposal to further regulate credit rating agencies.
Trade unions also descended on the south-western city of Wroclaw, to hold a demonstration alongside the meeting in protest at the “overambitious pace of fiscal consolidation” forced onto the three euro zone countries that have received bailouts.
“Current austerity policies ... are fostering unemployment and rising inequalities,” said the European Trade Union Confederation, which organized the demonstration along with its Polish affiliates.
“Wages are not the enemy of the economy, but their engine.”