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Merkel Asserts EU Leadership as She Seeks to Woo Voters

Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged from 10 hours of negotiations in Brussels with a plan to stem the debt crisis that might as well have been written in Berlin.

The German leader forced French President Nicolas Sarkozy to bend to her will on using the European rescue fund only as a last resort, ruled out an automatic crisis-fighting role for the European Central Bank and dragged banks back to the table to take greater losses on Greek debt. She even wrung further budget concessions out of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.