DEBT

EU Signs Fiscal Treaty

All but two of the European Union’s leaders met in Brussels on Friday to sign a new fiscal treaty in an attempt to prevent the region from running up huge debts like those that prompted bailouts in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. Britain and the Czech Republic refused to sign the pact, fearing that the agreement will not be enforced effectively. But EU President Herman Van Rompuy vowed that the pact would create conditions that would allow for a return to growth, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was a “great leap” toward stability and political union in the region.