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Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

Europe forges fiscal union, sees way out of crisis

By DON MELVIN and GABRIELE STEINHAUSER

BRUSSELS (AP) — Working almost to exhaustion and persuading countries one by one, European leaders agreed Friday to redefine their continent — hoping that by joining their fiscal fortunes they might stop a crippling debt crisis, save the euro currency and prevent worldwide economic chaos.

Only one country said no: Britain. It will risk isolation while the rest of the continent plots its future.

The coalition came together in a marathon negotiating session among the 27 European Union heads of government — hard bargaining that began with dinner Thursday evening and ended after 4 a.m., when red-eyed officials appeared before weary journalists to explain their proposed treaty.

It was a major step forward in the long, postwar march towardEuropean integration. It was two decades ago, on Dec. 9 and 10, 1991, that European negotiators drafted a treaty in Maastricht, Netherlands, to unite their politics, create a central bank and, one day, invent a common currency.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

 

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Don Melvin

Slobodan Lekic

Raf Casert

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