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EU Takes Action|on Economic Crisis

(CN) - The European Union took a number of steps this week to try and get a handle on the ongoing euro crises, including passage of a "six-pack" of reforms for fiscal governance.

The six reform measures, which got final approval Tuesday, aim to strengthen economic governance and budgetary discipline in the euro area. They include increased surveillance of member states and enforcement procedures including fines.

Some EU member countries had opposed the reforms, reached by compromise with the European Parliament, and are particularly opposed to the economic sanctions.

The "six-pack" is designed to take a two-pronged approach of preventing out-of-control spending and correcting problems before they grow.

"This mix of discipline and integration holds the key to the future of the Euro area," European Commission Manuel Barroso said of the six-pack reforms in a State of the Union address last week.

Days earlier, the EU issued a 1.1 billion euro bond, of which 500 million euros will go to Ireland and 600 million to Portugal.

It's the third such bond issued this past September, bringing the total for that month to $9 billion in bailout funds for both countries.

The September loans, from two EU funds and the International Monetary Fund, are part of a pledge of a total of 67.5 billion euros for Portugal over three years.

Also on Friday, the European Commission approved restructuring of three Spanish banks that had received EU aid.

The restructuring accompanies enforcement of a national law passed earlier this year to increase bank solvency ratios for long-term economic viability.

Under the restructuring, a public agency will take over three banks that have received millions of euros of rescue aid in the past two years.

The ongoing euro crisis, brought about largely by looming bankruptcies in EU member countries, has contributed to tumbling stock markets worldwide.

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