December 9th, 2011
09:50 PM GMT
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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.

Where does the deal leave the UK?

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.

CNN Poll: Germans feel worse off in euro

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.

Will new deal solve Europe's problems?

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.



soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Go Back to School Jim Boulden

    Stop rambling and report the facts. Trying to extract information from this article was like pulling teeth. Jim Boulden, learn how to clearly convey the facts, or at least stop writing stream-of-consciousness drivel like this. Pathetic.

    December 10, 2011 at 3:26 am |
  2. much a do about nuttin

    well.. this article is saying absolutely nothing!! who cares about who took the lift with whom...

    December 10, 2011 at 3:37 am |
  3. rotorhead1871

    its all spin...they really havent done anything...yet its now put off till march.2012...one has to ask how long will the creditors ...wait??..I think they are bying time to work our a behind the scene solution...

    December 10, 2011 at 4:23 am |
  4. Alex Povolotski

    The world is moving towards the Unified World Government. Brace for it...

    December 10, 2011 at 5:18 am |
  5. Paul Johnston, PhD Economics

    THIS WHOLE EURO DEAL IS SUCH AN INCREDIBLE FARCE AND FRAUD ITS AMAZING ANYONE TAKES IT SERIOUSLY–

    THE EURO ZONE IS UNTENABLE AND FINISHED.....
    INVESTORS ARE PULLING OUT - GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN...

    Paul Johnston, PhD Economics, Cambridge

    December 10, 2011 at 5:20 am |
  6. London

    "The euro survives ... for now" What is this with CNN. Are they a "News" Agency or Propaganda channel. Wishing for the end of the Euro in endless articles. This is no news channel. Even Chinese news channels like CCTV don`t report such utter nonsense and blatantly obvious Anti-European opinions and hogwash.

    December 10, 2011 at 5:54 am |
  7. Danny

    isnt this United states of Europe some kind of protectionism? it is used by the wealthier states like germany to rule and control the poorer states like greece, italy n spain soon which will have to surrender their sovereignty to EU which will be controlled by Franco/German. If EU is dismantled, is it not better for the freer market & the world? USSR is a classic eg. The states previously under uSSR are begining to find its own level and freedom.

    December 10, 2011 at 6:11 am |
  8. Hmmm

    Who is this Paul Johnson ? he is screaming in every article for past 2 months, and cannot even disable caps-lock. If you have PhD in Economics, than I'm Chinese god of laughing.

    December 10, 2011 at 6:49 am |
  9. Newscrazy

    Sarko is short, like Hitler was and both are/were power mad. :D

    December 10, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  10. Btangos

    Stop this propaganda. The Euro is strongest than the $

    December 10, 2011 at 7:19 am |
  11. cc gurule

    Are you going to panic? If you are then you'll be part of the fall off the euro, if you dont then you'll be part of the sensible crowd who will ensure it's survival

    December 10, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  12. Logical

    meant to write; Why denmark is NOT using the euro as its currency.

    December 10, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  13. Jesse

    If the Euro is in such trouble why does it stay so strong at about 30 % more than the US Dollar ? Europe could take care of these problems quick if they would lower interest rates to about 0 from 1 and do large QE (print money) to buy massive amounts of bonds from affected countries. They should do it while the currency is so high. Even after all that it will still be about the same value as the dollar or maybe even above still. Then they would have the time to fix these problems.

    December 10, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  14. P Lemon

    PS The Euro is not just stronger than the Euro. It started at less than $1 with a view to parity, and now sits at $1.35-1.4. If we still had parity, we (Europeans, shame the UK's decided to stay out for many of the wrong 'sovereignty reasons) could all do what the Germans do very well and export our way out of this mess.
    The fact is, UK's profligate and gambling banks were a big part of what caused this global/western mess. Then WE (the tax payer) bailed them out because they were 'too big to fail', without being properly consulted about how we wanted our hard earned taxes spent, unlike the million-pound bonuses paid, even now to the Louis XVI types in these banks.
    Wake up Britain! We don't have an empire anymore, with cheap resources at every corner of the globe, at our disposal, nor do we have cheap – exploited – labour (like some billionaire Indian residents of the UK, who like to own homes in Kensington, whilst owning sweap shops in their native India/Pakistan, but have overseas status to avoid tax), but do have an older population and a growing benefits bill to pay, as well as Europe's largest debt mountain (if you add private, corporate and government, we owe more than some southern European economies put together).
    It can't go on be cause it's unsustainable, and, unlike America, with its $15tr of gov. debt, we're not too big to fail, ie closer to Greece than America. The Chinese can't afford to have America fail, but who's the UK again??
    We have to change, and joining the Euro would be a win-win for everyone....

    December 10, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  15. P Lemon

    Very well put, Jesse!

    December 10, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  16. dr A Kruger

    So Belgium proved a country can survive without a government. Nice way to solve the debt crisis: Get rid of these bureaucrats that spend other people's money, and in the process bankrupted their countries. Government should do nothing other than provide safety (eg. police, property registers, courts & legal system) and infrastructure (roads). Thinking people with initiative will do everything else much, much more efficiently.

    December 10, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  17. Davis Bradley

    I used to trust CNN until they began taking part in the speculative efforts to destroy the European economy. Yellow journalism at its finest.

    December 10, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  18. James

    This isn't an article, it's a collection of tweets. This doom and gloom campaign by CNN is beginning to wear very thin.

    December 10, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  19. alain morel

    It is already a setback for those who had announced the demise of the Euro for this week. Long live the Euro,It is also a big disillusion for those in France who would have tried to take advantage of the situation aginst the current rulers in it we trust."A vaincre sans péril on triomphe sans gloire"

    December 10, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  20. Marc

    Again, US/UK/CNN propaganda against EURO.
    And UK isolated themselves, not the opposite.

    December 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  21. jack

    I love Euro..

    December 10, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  22. to__nic

    I hope that one day we will have United States of Europe. I'm from Poland, former USSR republic, and it makes me laugh to read comments about how EU is the same as USSR. You, who say such things, know nothing about totalitarianism, you sit in your safe countries and just write this nonsense. In years 2007-2013 Poland will pay to EU budget 22 bilion euro, and in the same time we will recive 87 bilion euro (source is Openeurope, eurosceptical agency). That's +65 bilion euro in 5 years in form of new jobs, roads, bridges, airports. Country is taking massive change every year.

    What is independence? Am I independend, when 80% of products are made in China? Am I independend, when because of world conflicts price of oil are higher every day, making prices of almost all products higher? If my country was outside of NATO and EU, would it be independend if Russa cut of gas transport to my country, like with Ukraine? Would I be independend, when one day Chinese buissnesman came to me, and say "I buy your company, go dig yourself some rice"?

    There is no independence. Independence means nothing, when people are poor, and have no hope. Independence means, that you have common goals and because of that you are strong and can fight outside threats. And that is EU. No more borders in Europe, there was enough fighting and disasters for 1000 years. Let's start building something instead of consantly dividing everything!

    December 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  23. Saviour

    This is tasteless reporting. The Euro is saved period.

    December 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  24. Oblix

    This article tells us one positive thing about its author : he must have bravely stayed awoken all night to produce such an inconsistent, surreal and subjective piece of "journalism".

    December 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  25. Steve Kalbach

    To all of you Euro lovers out there. Tell me. Just how much has the Euro and Eurozone done for you personally? I for one don't see anything that benefits me personally other that I don't have to exchange currencies when I go on vacation. My rent has doubled since the arrival of the Euro. My wages were cut in half, prices in the stores have also risen dramatically so tell me again. What has the Euro done for you?

    December 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  26. Anonymous

    Date: Pre IOWA Caucus

    Dear Santa,
    All I want for Christmas is for Gingrich to get the nomination. And the cherry on top of this heap of stinky trash would be if Trump runs as an independent candidate. For you see, I want the whole world to know that these 2 people who claim to speak on behalf of Americans is nothing but "invented people" of white trash, deeply seeded racists, delusional sense of self-importance and hates anything that is not the color of snow. But mostly I miss Darrel Hannna's impersonation of Trump trying to you know, that word that I'm not allowed to use, that means you put your name out on anything and everything to make a buck...Santa, I think these two definitely should get a lump of coal in their stockings!

    December 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  27. David Cameron

    Lately CNN become Fox News which is not under control of Murdoch's!

    December 10, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  28. Roelof

    Yep, we've got that ESM debt treaty. With that ESM treaty countries that pay tax get punished. Because that treaty says that all the healthy countries unconditionally have to pay for countries that refuse to collect tax. Meanwhile those garlic countries stuff all their money on Swiss bank accounts where they enjoy autonomy (immunity). That ESM is also immune for all actions they take. They can't be taken responsible for anything. Healthy countries just have to pay without any rights or knowing what we're paying for. Brussel wants more power and Greece is completely corrupt. Why not combine those two? EU mafia continent. The euro less worth than a Zimbabwe dollar. So.. instead of ending the autonomy on Greek savings, North Europe just have to go bankrupt as well. I suggest we give every North European a welfare cheque of 1 million euro a month, 2 million euro bonus for the ones who work. We all stuff that on Swiss bank accounts where we enjoy autonomy and let Greece and Italy solve our problem.

    December 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  29. Roelof

    Oh, North European also should stop paying tax, tax paying countries get punished.

    December 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  30. Roelof

    Brussel made the worse mistake evah.. they should end the autonomy on Greek and Italian savings, instead of the sovereignty of EU countries that don't forget to collect tax. Brussel: the world upside down ESM treaty. 100% dictatorship. Communists.

    December 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  31. Roelof

    Dutch MP Rutte wants sanctions. What good is that, when a country is bankrupt? Plucking from a bold chicken? They already got their 8 billion cash. Did they fit to the standards for that loan? Of course not. So.. I'm waiting for 3 million euro cash and when we're declared bankrupt, ESM will come to the rescue.. or not, but at least whole North Europe will be filthy rich.

    December 10, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
  32. Mary

    Richard Quest proclaimed on air that the U.S. was very concerned because 'the European Union is by far the U.S.'s largest trading partner.' Uhm, no, it isn't.

    2010 – U.S. Census Bureau – U.S. Trade in Goods with EU (not seasonally adjusted) in millions on a nominal basis
    Exports: 239.583.3 Imports: 319,194.8 Balance: -79,611.5
    Versus:
    2010 – U.S. Census Bureau – U.S. Trade in Goods with CANADA (not seasonally adjusted) in millions on a nominal basis
    Exports: 249,105.0 Imports: 277,647.5 Balance: -28,542.50

    Canada appears to be by far the U.S.'s largest trading partner, continuing on with larger comparative numbers in 2011.

    December 10, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  33. Mary

    (Per capita.)

    December 10, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  34. Love EU from London!

    It`s a giant mistake that the UK didn`t join. We are becoming a tiny player on the world stage and the UK Euro-Skeptics are responsible through blatant massive ignorance. These giant shortsighted visionless clowns will learn what future development means. AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST BLUNDERS IS they are turning the rest of Europe against us. France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Poland and others will do everything in the future to keep further contracts and production parts out of Britain. Like with Airbus and the many wing sections we still produce. For now that is.

    If this anti-Euro nonsense continues in Britain i will soon be leaving towards Holland, Germany, Austria, France or Luxembourg. The UK now has the most disparity between rich and poor of any EU nation. Just look at the riots here in London and other UK cities. And now they want further isolation like we are some kind of freaking Iran.

    Any more Economic woes in the UK and sooner or later the Scottish will also be demanding their independence. The UK will Collapse instead of their Desire of Euro failure. Right back at you. Be careful what you wish for when you wish Germany and others fail.

    December 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  35. Mihai

    Another CNN tipical euro articol (propaganda) The euro will not fall and will take the dolar as the world curency , please stop this pathetic "news coverage"

    December 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  36. bigFreeMealOverForEurope

    Euro circus ring – sarkhozy the clown, Mario the lion tamer, Berlusconi the fire eater, Pappandreao and Pappadeimos the trapeze artists, Merkel the singing / Dancing bear / fat lady / bearded lady. Circus act - burning the euro on the ring of fire - Ha hA HA Better dump your euros when you can, and switch to $$$ ;-)

    December 11, 2011 at 3:44 am |
  37. mrdoubleb

    Why did my comment disappear?! It was posted right below Mary's.

    There was absolutely nothing rude in it, I was just agreeing with "to__nic" and added my thoughts to that comment.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:19 am |

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