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EU Leaders Agree on Financial Rescue Package


European leaders wrapped up a two-day summit in Brussels with agreement on ways to rescue the European financial system, but split over greenhouse gas emission cuts and on resuming special talks with Russia. Lisa Bryant has more for VOA from Paris.

The 27-member bloc not only endorsed a multi-billion-dollar financial rescue plan during the two days of talks, but also called for a larger overhaul of the financial system that has led to the crisis.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, will be holding talks with President Bush on Saturday to push for a larger international summit on the financial meltdown by the year's end.

In remarks following the Brussels meeting, Sarkozy also called for joint European action to solve a larger economic crisis looming behind the financial one.

Mr. Sarkozy said the economic crisis is here. The European Union has shown a coordinated response to the financial crisis, he said it now must respond to the economic one. He said the bloc would deliver that response by the end of the year.

But EU leaders did not agree on another key issue - global warming. While their targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 remain unchanged, eastern European countries are worried about the price tag of doing so.

In remarks to reporters, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikoski warned of a possible Polish veto.

"We will do everything we can to avoid having a veto, but there has to be willingness to address real issues concerning whole branches of industry and millions of consumers and hundreds of billions of euros of financial flows across Europe. There has to be a willingness to address this," he said.

EU leaders also disagreed over whether to resume talks with Moscow on a special Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that had been suspended due to the Russia-Georgia conflict. They will address the matter during an EU-Russia summit next month.

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