The Czechs thought about it, and they said no. All other 27 EU member states except Britain agreed today to join a compact to impose budget discipline on fellow nations, the BBC reports. British Prime Minister David Cameron had already refused to take part, saying that ceding control of his country's budget is "not in my national interest." The Czech Republic, not yet in the euro, cited "constitutional reasons" for rejecting the treaty.
"I'm not sufficiently familiar with the ins and outs of what's going on in Prague to understand why what was acceptable in December is no longer acceptable now," groused French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Worse, several analysts and politicians criticize today's pledge in Brussels for lacking the teeth to kick-start growth and fight joblessness, the New York Times reports. Germany's focus on fiscal belt-tightening came under fire in particular: “You don’t have to be an economics professor to know that if you have zero growth you are not going to sort things out,” said President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. (Read more European Union stories.)