European Union leaders have signed a new treaty for stricter budget discipline across the bloc.
Driven by France and Germany, it was approved in January by 25 of the EU’s 27 members. Britain and the Czech Republic have opted not to join the deal.
Representatives of the other states put pen to paper on the so-called Fiscal Compact at an EU summit in Brussels.
It calls on signatories to introduce a balanced budget rule into national legislation to
avoid a re-run of the eurozone’s debt crisis. Countries breaching deficit limits face semi-automatic sanctions.
Ireland is to hold a referendum on the treaty.