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Europe, explained
 

It's Europe, they do summits differently here

Leaders agree fiscal compact - details left for later
Big threeEnlarge
The EU's Big Three: French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at eysterday's summit in Brussels. (PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty Images)

EU leaders met in Brussels yesterday. By their standards things went well. Contentious pre-summit issues were kicked aside - in this case, Germany did not push for the right to install a budget czar in Greece. Agreement was reached on a new fiscal compact for the euro zone, although the details of what was agreed were left for later. A lot of money was pledged, enough to make a person wonder where it will come from given how indebted many European governments are.

Summary:

A new treaty was agreed with tougher rules for the fiscal compact governing the 17 euro zone's economies including balanced annual budgets with financial penalties to be paid into the European Stability Mechanism, aka bail-out fund. The EU Court of Justice will have jurisdiction to decide which countries are in breach of the rules.

25 of the 27 EU nations agreed to this new compact. The UK and the Czech Republic took a pass.

Money was pledged to help growth and job creation: 82 billion euros ($107 billion).

Considering unemployment statistics released today (here then click link to pdf) showed that last month euro zone unemployment was 10.4 percent that funding is critical.

Today's news showed unemployment has gone up in Italy to 8.9 percent while dropping in Germany to a record post-unification low of 6.7 percent.

Depending on your prefered world view a full report on the summit from a German news outlet is here. From the BBC, here.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/europe/its-europe-they-do-summits-differently-here

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