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Europe Works To Stave Off Financial Crisis

Facing an American-sized economic downturn, European leaders met Saturday to hash out a bailout plan to stave off their growing credit crisis, reported The New York Times.

“We are fully aware of the responsibility that weighs on our shoulders,? said President Nicolas Sarkozy of France. “What is of the essence is that Europe should exist and respond with one voice.?

That has been a difficult task given the lack of banking and brokerage standards among Europe's major countries. Additionally, European Union nations do not have a common budget, which makes enacting a bailout plan similar to the United State's $700 billion package challenging.

The meeting did yield a broadly outlined bailout plan and a lot of good ideas, including working with the European Investment Bank to make $21.2 billion available to struggling small and midsize business owners.

European leaders say they agree, however, that this economic crisis is a product of risky American economic practices. Many said they prefer Europe's system of setting aside savings to America's "speculative capitalism".

Individually, European countries are doing what they keep their economies stable, reported The Star Tribune.

Sunday, German leaders voted to enact a bailout plan of their own, committing 50 billion euros ($69 billion) to keep Hypo Real Estate AG, the nation's second-largest property lender, afloat.

British treasury chief Alistair Darling said Britain is willing to take "pretty big steps that we wouldn't take in ordinary times."