Stimulus package in motion for E.U.
Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme (left, not pictured) and European Commission chairman Jose Manuel Barroso (right, pictured) talk to the press in Brussels after a meeting on the financial crisis -- November 20, 2008
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Scott Jagow: Some love for Iceland today from its "neighbors." Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark said they would lend Iceland $2.5 billion to help it recover from economic meltdown. The IMF will pitch in another $2 billion. And members of the E.U. are drawing up plans for a stimulus package for all of Europe. From London, Stephen Beard reports.
Stephen Beard: The European Commission presents its plan next week. The signs are that it will call on the E.U.'s 27 member states to unleash a concerted fiscal blitz.
The Commission wants them to spend at least 1 percent of their GDP, either on tax cuts or extra public expenditure. That's a total of around $160 billion -- the same size as America's first stimulus package earlier this year.
Europe's action is belated but necessary, says Phillip White of the Center for European Reform:
Phillip White: Europe has been conning itself for much of the past year that it would be insulated from this economic storm. But I think now it has actually woken up to the fact that it is heading for a very nasty recession.
He believes the E.U. economy as a whole will shrink by up to 2 percent next year. Some member states could fare even worse. Ireland is forecast to contract by a hefty 4 percent.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.