"'Golden Rule' is no longer obligatory in national constitutions",” writes Público. According to the Lisbon daily, the enforcement of the principle of balanced budgets in the EU member state constitutions is about to be abandoned "although Germany is not yet totally convinced".

In spite of Berlin`s intentions, many countries — like Ireland, Denmark or France — have invoked legal or political difficulties in modifying their constitutions, putting ratification of the EU’s new stability pact in doubt. The new draft treaty, the subject of discussion among national officials in Brussels this January 12, is to grant each country the right to decide how to proceed.

According to the Lisbon daily, new rules will be implemented on 1 January 2013. Eurozone states will not only be obliged to have eliminated current budget deficits, but also to ensure that budgets are balanced from then on.

We are "closer to a European consensus", writes Público in its editorial, adding that the new treaty should be approved before the end of January by all EU members, except the UK:

Things will not go exactly as the Germans wanted. A concession… was made for the sake of the main goal, which is to have the new budget agreement signed as soon as possible. The roadmap for the German plan to combat the euro crisis requires speed and the new rules will be included in permanent legislation of the member states.