20081211 angela merkel 83995145 18
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the E.U. summit in Brussels -- December 11, 2008 - 


Steve Chiotakis: There's an economic meeting of European leaders in Brussels today. They're looking at stimulus plan for all of the European Union. But don't bet on it just yet -- there's a big rift between Germany and Britain. From London, here's Stephen Beard.

Stephen Beard: Germany's finance minister says the British approach to the economic crisis is crass and breathtaking. He says the Brits are throwing around billions of pounds of public money in a futile attempt to revive the British economy. All it will achieve, he said, will be a record level of national debt.

The finance minister is equally critical of the plan for a $250 billion Europe-wide stimulus package. That doesn't augur well for the E.U. summit.

Graham Mather of the European Policy Forum:

Graham Mather: The key thing that has emerged from this crisis is that it's nation states for themselves. The European Union can't really do much to help. At the moment, every member state is in there for itself until the situation calms down.

But the British government strongly supports the E.U.-wide plan, and blames the Germans for being out of step with the rest of Europe and with the U.S.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.