June 29 - Italy and Spain held up agreement on measures to promote growth at a summit of European leaders. The two countries are under market pressure in the euro zone crisis and demanded urgent action to bring down their borrowing costs. Joanna Partridge reports from Brussels.
UPSOUND Italy's success on the pitch against Germany went down well with journalists covering the EU summit in Brussels. But off it there wasn't much to cheer. Behind closed doors, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was at odds with the Italian and Spanish leaders over how to tackle the euro zone crisis. After several hours they had agreed a 120 billion euro package to stimulate growth. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy explained the details. SOUNDBITE: Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President, saying (English): "A ten billion euro increase in capital of the European Investment Bank will increase the bank's overall lending capacity by sixty billion and this money must flow across Europe not least to the most vulnerable countries and help companies grow themselves out of the crisis." But EU officials said Italy and Spain had refused to sign up to it - as they want Germany to approve short-term measures to ease their borrowing costs first. Both warned the current levels were unsustainable long-term. But Van Rompuy insisted - this time in French - that this doesn't mean there is a stalemate. SOUNDBITE: Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President, saying (French): "It is the case that two countries are very keen on seeing a link between short and long-term measures. But the discussion is not at all blocked, discussions are continuing." Italy and Spain may be united in their calls for Germany to do more to ease market pressure. But they'll be backing opposing sides on Sunday when their football teams compete to become European champion. Joanna Partridge, Reuters