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EU Expected To Approve Tougher Financial Rules

French President Nicolas Sarkozy talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (file photo)
The European Union is expected to approve tougher financial rules at a one-day summit today designed to prevent a repeat of the Greek debt crisis.

The leaders of the 27 EU member nations meeting in Brussels are also expected to push for an international levy on banks to pay for any future crisis.

There have been increasing concerns that Spain -- the EU's fifth-largest economy -- will follow Greece in seeking EU help to deal with its financial problems, but EU leaders have repeatedly denied this and said Spain's troubled economy is not on the agenda of the summit.

"I don't have indications that Spain would be in a position to have to ask for the use of the [support measures] we have put into place," Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads a panel of finance ministers of the 16 nations using the euro, said on the eve of the summit. "I think there is too much excitement over Spain. There is no reason.''

At their summit today, EU leaders are also set to approve a new set of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

The sanctions go beyond UN sanctions imposed last week and include measures targeting Iran's oil industry.

compiled from agency reports