European leaders have started their first 2012 summit in Brussels, aiming to set new spending controls over individual governments, but also facing reminders of the continent's economic difficulties.
In a driving snowstorm, Belgian workers Monday staged the country's first general strike since 2005 to protest the austerity measures imposed in their country. Some flights were canceled into and out of the country, with public ground transportation services brought to a standstill .
The European Union heads of state are attempting to reach an accord on details of a plan to control spending across the continent , and at the same time to begin to boost the stalled European economy. Economic analysts say the continent could slide into a moderate recession in the first half of the year.
But concerns about debt-ridden Greece remained at the forefront as well. Despite extended negotiations with its private creditors, the Athens government has so far been unable to complete an agreement to cut in half the amount of money it owes them. That could reduce the Greek debt by $130 billion, but talks on the pact have snagged on the interest rate Greece would pay on the revised debt.
2012-02-01 23:03 编辑：crystal156