Stability pact showdown expected

A showdown may be in the offing regarding the EU's stability and growth pact. The EU summit in Brussels next week is expected to discuss reform of the 25-nation bloc's fiscal rules.

In an interview with the German business daily Handelsblatt on Friday, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel insisted that the stability pact continue to be applied to the letter.

However, another daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said that five big member states, namely Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Britain, had reac