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EU struggles for deal on climate, economy boost

Source:  Copyright 2008, Reuters
Date:  December 10, 2008
Byline:  Mark John
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Differences narrowed in the European Union over how to tackle the economic slowdown and global warming but a final deal on both issues proved elusive before a summit starting on Thursday.

Sources close to talks said Germany and Poland had reached an agreement on how to alleviate the impact of proposed new regulations on Poland's coal-fired power stations.

However Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threatened to veto any climate deal that hurt Italy's interests too much.

The glittering prize at the two-day summit in Brussels would be an accord allows the 27-nation bloc to offer Barack Obama a partnership on both issues when he becomes president next year.

But agreements may be possible only on a minimal version of a proposed 200-billion euro ($259-billion) stimulus plan and on watered-down pledges on global warming that satisfy industry.

Despite resistance from around the EU to some parts of a scheme to cut ...

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