EU leaders meet to thrash out comprehensive plan to fight debt crisis

09:57, February 05, 2011      

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As European Union (EU) leaders met here Friday for their first summit of this year devoted to energy and innovation, thrashing out a comprehensive plan to deal with the debt crisis will be high on the agenda of their one-day meeting.

Chief of state from European Union pose for a family photo during the EU Summit held in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 4, 2011. The one-day summit had been for the first time designed to focus on the EU's energy and innovation policy during the next decade, but it was shadowed by the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone and latest developments in Egypt. (Xinhua/Thierry Monasse)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany and France will put forward proposals for tighter economic coordination at the summit.

"We will talk about how to prepare decisions that are still necessary, in particular with regard to the permanent crisis mechanism which is to be agreed by March, and also to bring in the proposals of France and Germany for a stronger coordination of economic policy in the Eurogroup," Merkel told reporters as she arrived for the meeting.

President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said he expected a good discussion on an economic comprehensive plan for the euro area and for the EU as a whole.

President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said in an invitation letter before the meeting that the leaders will take stock of the progress made so far on economic governance and "set out a clear path towards a comprehensive package" by the summit in March.

"This entails agreement on strengthening the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the decision on the treaty change and agreement on the operational features of the future European Stability Mechanism, a determined pursuit of national reforms and fiscal consolidation, and ways of better ensuring macroeconomic coherence within the euro area," Van Rompuy said.

(From L-R) Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Czech Republic's Prime Minister Petr Necas, Slovakia's Prime Minister Iveta Radicova, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Romania's President Traian Basescu, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boiko Borisov and Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk pose for a family photo before a dinner on "North-South energy interconnections", in Brussels February 3, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

But analysts said that no breakthroughs are expected at this summit given the fact that the debt crisis is easing and disagreement remains over how to strengthen the EFSF.

Source: Xinhua
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