Europe Leaders Are Called to Crisis Summit in Paris; Seat of Power: A New Sofa Is Carried into No 1 Today as Gordon Brown Announced a Cobra-Style Committee of Cabinet Ministers and Top Officials to Tackle Financial Crises

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DEEP divisions opened in Europe today over how to tackle the credit crisis.

Gordon Brown announced that he will attend an emergency summit of EU leaders in Paris this weekend, called in an attempt to co-ordinate the approaches of different countries.

There were concerns over a proposal quickly torpedoed by Britain and Germany for a ?250 billion Europewide bail-out fund to prop up the banks.

And a row was raging about the Irish government's go-it-alone decision to guarantee all bank deposits. Britain and other countries are concerned that the Irish deal risks undermining their own banks by making Dublin a more attractive haven for money.

The splits widened just as ministers breathed a sigh of relief that the US Senate had passed the $700 billion financial rescue package.

At the same time, Mr Brown is to form a committee of Cabinet ministers and top officials to respond to the economic crisis.

It will be similar to the Government's "Cobra" unit that meets during national emergencies such as a natural disaster or an act of terrorism.

Led by the Prime Minister, the group will meet regularly to identify dangers such as failing banks and co-ordinate a rapid response. During major crises, it could meet daily or even several times a day. …


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