London: European leaders must take "decisive action" to save the euro at a summit today, according to a group of 12 economists, who said the single currency's survival is at stake.

"The debt crisis has reached the core of the Eurozone," the 12 economists, who include Paul De Grauwe, Richard Portes and Beatrice Weder di Mauro said in an open letter.

"For the first time, the very survival of the euro is at stake" and politicians "face a historic responsibility."

Europe's leaders will gather in Brussels in an effort to prove to markets that the bloc has the will and the tools to prevent the 21-month-old sovereign-debt crisis from engulfing Spain and Italy.

No magic solution

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday the crisis can't be resolved in "one spectacular step," while Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said yesterday there is no "one magic solution" to fix it "overnight." Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said in an interview that the summit could be a "make-or-break moment" for the Eurozone.

"It is essential that an agreement be reached on a plan that prevents further escalation of the crisis," said the economists, who suggested giving Europe's €440 billion (Dh2.3 trillion) rescue fund a more flexible mandate, such as the ability to strengthen banks through bond buybacks.

Out of time

"There are many technical details and many variants of these proposals," the economists said.

"The important thing is to acknowledge that the leaders are out of time. Deciding to not decide could mark the end of the Eurozone."

The letter was distributed by the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research.