Euro leaders surprise with crisis deal

AP News
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Posted: Mar 12, 2011 12:27 PM
Euro leaders surprise with crisis deal

After harrowing late-night negotiations, the leaders of the 17-country eurozone thrashed out a strategy on how to deal with the debt crisis that has crippled the currency union over the past year and already pushed two of its members into multibillion euro bailouts.

"The fundamental path was hacked open," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told journalists early Saturday morning.

Along the way, Merkel made some serious concessions, which might cost her when she faces her electorate at home.

Together with her eurozone counterparts, Merkel agreed to boost the region's bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, so it can lend the full euro440 billion that it initially promised.