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New Treaty to Save the Euro May Also Divide Europe

BRUSSELS — European leaders, meeting until the early hours of Friday, agreed to sign an intergovernmental treaty that would require them to enforce stricter fiscal and financial discipline in their future budgets. But efforts to get unanimity among the 27 members of the European Union, as desired by Germany, failed as Britain refused to go along.

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain gave a press conference after talks gathering European Union leaders in Brussels, Belgium, early on Friday.

In a day of historic, seemingly tectonic shifts in the architecture of Europe, all 17 members of the European Union that use the euro agreed to the new treaty, along with six other countries that wish to join the currency union eventually. Three stragglers, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Sweden entered the fold later, after a strong diplomatic push.

Twenty years after the Maastricht Treaty, which was designed not just to integrate Europe but to contain the might of a united Germany, Berlin had effectively united Europe under its control, with Britain all but shut out.


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