European leaders agreed early Friday to use a bailout fund to pump money directly into struggling banks, paving the way for a 130 billion euro ($160 billion) package to stimulate economic growth in the 17-member eurozone. Spain and Italy had blocked agreement on the growth fund until fellow eurozone leaders approved some form of aid to lower dangerously high borrowing costs in the two countries. Also at the summit, leaders of the 27 European Union member states agreed on "the four building blocks" to create a "genuine economic and monetary union," according to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. That might include jointly issued eurobonds, something Germany has resisted. European markets and the euro responded positively to the agreements.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- The rise of the global middle class is our best hope to stop climate change
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- What I learned from totally unplugging and shutting up for three days
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Immigration, charity, and conservatives' unholy assault on Glenn Beck
Subscribe to the Week