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European Union Summit Begins In Brussels

The flag of the European People's Party (EPP) at the start of a EPP summit, held ahead of an European Union summit in Meise, outside Brussels, March 24, 2011

Leaders of European Union states are expected to focus on the debt crisis facing their economies, including Portugal, during a two-day summit starting in Brussels Thursday.

EU officials are concerned that debt troubles in one member country will impact the financial well-being of all members. EU leaders intend to work on developing a plan to keep their countries solvent during the Brussels talks.

But opposition to austerity measures across the EU is growing and police are bracing for thousands of demonstrators to converge on the EU summit.

On Wednesday, Portugal Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned after parliament rejected his plans for more spending cuts.

Portuguese opposition parties Mr. Socrates' plan goes too far to reduce debt.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.