Angela Merkel
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Germany's Angela Merkel hails 'step forward' for EU

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel says EU leaders have taken an "important step forward" in efforts to establish to join a fiscal treaty to enforce budget discipline.

Twenty-five of the EU's 27 member states have signed up to the plan but, as expected, the UK refused. The Czech Republic cited "ratification reasons" for its decision to abstain.

The goal is for much closer co-ordination of budget policy across the EU to prevent excessive debts accumulating.

The treaty will empower the European Court of Justice to monitor compliance and impose fines on rule-breakers.

  • 30 Jan 2012
  • From the section Europe
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