Twenty-three European Union countries, including all 17 that use the euro, agreed to an intergovernmental treaty that dictates strict tax and budget rules early Friday. The measure fell short of Germany and France's goal to get all 27 EU nations to back changes to the union's treaties after objections from Britain. Prime Minister David Cameron had sought exemptions for the U.K.'s financial sector. The fiscal compact, which penalizes members for breaking deficit rules, was welcomed by Mario Draghi, the new head of the European Central Bank.
Andrew Walker, economics correspondent for the BBC, has the latest on the deal and the drama behind its passage.