New Middle East development bank proposed

BELGIUM - The European Commission will on Wednesday unveil proposals for a new development bank for Mediterranean and Middle East countries amid a debate over the European Union's political and economic role in the region.

The bank, backed by Romano Prodi, the Commission's president, and Spain, holders of the EU's rotating presidency, has already generated a debate among member states over the need for such an institution in the absence of economic and political reforms and functioning market

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