December 9th, 2011
09:50 PM GMT
Brussels (CNN) - On late Thursday evening, there was an unusual loud cheer and round of clapping in the massive press atrium in the European Commission building.
The reporters were not clapping in the response to saving the euro.
It was when video of Belgium's new Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was splashed on the screen.
Just the fact that the tiny country had a prime minister after 18 months of trying was enough to add a bit of cheer for the Belgian journalists mixed amongst the hundreds of us crammed into the place.
Of all the summits I have covered in Brussels, this was the most reporters I had seen here. It felt more like a major sporting event.
After all there were representatives from the press for each of the 27 countries, plus us international broadcasters and the usual smattering of Japanese crews.
We were expecting two long days of debate. Some people said be prepared to stay the weekend. None of the happened.
The leaders flew in Thursday night, had dinner, debated the very future of the euro, isolated Britain, made a deal, had a press conference around 5 a.m., got a few hours of sleep, welcomed Croatia into the club and went home.
Then the spinning began.
We were told the meetings were friendly. There was no animosity between France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and the UK’s David Cameron.
One official told a small gathering of us that Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel even left the meeting in the same lift.
What was most interesting to me was watching Hungary, Sweden and the Czech Republic pause, not able to commit to the fiscal pact at first light Friday.
So we all started to talk of the euro 17+6, with the other four left out in the cold. How quickly that changed.
The three continental players must have seen the press lumping them with Britain and did not like where it was heading.
Quickly a revised agreement was released and the outsiders, including Hungary had at least agreed to discuss joining the fiscal compact and take it to national parliaments if appropriate.
Britain once again on the margins of Europe. Right where, I dare say, most Britons want to be.
The euro has survived for now to live another day.
We all convene here next March for the next summit where the details should be signed off.
Or, will it be another 'last chance' meeting to save the single currency after months of indecision, disagreements and market mayhem.
Here's hoping next March there are far fewer journalists here in Brussels.
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