EU leaders put pen to paper on new fiscal treaty

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EU leaders put pen to paper on new fiscal treaty

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Signed; yes. Ratified; not yet! Despite that, Europe’s leaders have finally come up with the treaty they say will save the euro.

The new so called fiscal compact aims to get a grip on the bloc’s debts through tighter budget rules, something the EU’s newly reappointed Council chief, Herman Van Rompuy, said they weren’t just doing for fun.

‘‘We’re not doing all this because we really love cutting the deficit, because we really love cutting sovereign debt, but because it ultimately makes economic growth and jobs possible,’‘ Rompuy said.

The UK and Czech Republic were the only member states to opt out of the treaty. British Prime Minister David Cameron preferred instead to focus on the crisis in Syria.

“I have a clear message for those in authority in Syria – make a choice. Turn your back on this criminal regime or face justice for the blood that is on your hands,” Cameron said.

The new treaty will now have to be ratified by most of the signatories national parliaments. Ireland has said it will need to hold a referendum on the pact.

As euronews’ Andrei Beketov explains, unlike previous gatherings this time Greece wasn’t the dominant issue, although it could crop up again soon.

‘‘It’s been a relatively calm summit. While leaders have yet to give the final green light to the next Greek bailout, they hope the measures they have put in place here will save other countries going the same way. It will become clearer next week if Greece has met all the requirements to get the funding it needs.’‘