December 8th, 2011
08:52 PM GMT
Editor's note: It was a late night, indeed. Shortly after 5 a.m. EU leaders gave an update on progress, including plans to form an intergovernmental body and a cash injection to the IMF. Hungary and Britain, however, would not sign on to proposed EU treaty changes.
Brussels (CNN) - The hour grows late, and few expect this euro summit to be over quickly. The Finnish prime minister said it would be "very, very tough."
The leaders aren't short on hyperbole in describing what's at stake. Chancellor Angela Merkel, arriving for the pre-summit dinner, said the euro had lost credibility and this must be restored.
David Cameron, of the UK, said he will protect Britain's interests against unfavorable treaty changes. Belgium’s new prime minister says it’s a "very very important summit."
So, if its sooooo important, why can't they agree?
Because the issues go to the heart of how this system works and everyone has their own view on the best way forward.
Time and again European officials have said now is the time to save the euro - and then failed to come up with the goods.
The barometer of success here will be; do they increase the firepower of the stability bailout fund or do they promise and fail to deliver; do they reach agreement for all 27 countries to move forward. Or does the eurozone do its own deal?
It's 2130 here in Brussels – no-one is expecting this to be an early night.
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