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by MONITOR
THE European Union special summit meeting on Sunday was called by the Czech presidency about three weeks ago after it was accused by President Sarkozy of France of doing too little to bring EU countries together on the economic crisis. Things have moved on in the meantime and there is now a real chance that this meeting will reveal deep divisions rather than unity of purpose.

There is a strong feeling among those ten new EU members which are not members of the single currency bloc that the 16 who are members intend to adopt measures which will leave them economically stranded. (Ten and 16 don't make
27 - the UK is the other one). There are two points of contention. The first is a proposal for an issue of Eurobonds - IOUs which would be guaranteed by all the single currency countries. This idea was put forward by Italy at the Davos World Economic Forum meeting and has been supported by the International Monetary Fund.

However, Poland, which is leading the opposition of the mainly Eastern and poorer member states, says that the bonds would “create a two-speed Europe”.
The second worry expressed by Poland's prime minister, Donald Tusk, is the level of subsidies being provided to car manufactures in France, Italy and Spain. Mr Tusk believes these subsidies to be against EU rules; earlier this week he said very pointedly that the financial crisis “cannot be an excuse for dismantling the single market.”