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EU President Calls Emergency Economic Summit


The Czech presidency of the European Union has called for an emergency summit to coordinate efforts to confront the global economic crisis.

An EU spokesman, Johannes Laitenberger, says the summit, expected by the end of February, will serve to air preparatory views on measures the 27-nation bloc will consider at a regularly-scheduled summit in March.

The summit call follows pressure from France. French officials have been complaining about what they call a lack of economic strategy coordination since the Czech Republic assumed the rotating EU presidency January 1.

In December, EU leaders agreed on a joint $260 billion stimulus plan to ease the impact of the worldwide recession. But no plans have been offered detailing specific measures to be taken by member countries.

In a related development, Bavaria's Christian Social Union Party has chosen party secretary Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg as its candidate to become Germany's new economy minister.

The conservative Christian Social Union Party is the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats. It has two seats in her coalition Cabinet.

Zu Guttenberg at age 37 will become the youngest German to be economy minister in modern history. He replaces Michael Glos, who unexpectedly resigned Saturday.

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