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Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

European states sign new fiscal treaty

By GABRIELE STEINHAUSER

BRUSSELS (AP) — The leaders of 25 European states on Friday signed a new treaty designed to prevent the 17 euro countries from living beyond their means and prevent a repeat of the currency union’s crippling debt crisis.

The leaders hope the accord, known as the fiscal compact, will also lead the way toward closer political and economic integration in the eurozone.

“It will bring us, as it were, the economic and monetary union that is finally walking on two legs,” said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who oversaw the drafting of the treaty.

Only Britain and the Czech Republic decided not to sign the agreement, triggering some concern over a rift in the 27-country European Union.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

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