Europe Decides Against Fines for Spain and Portugal

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A waiter in Málaga, Spain. European Union officials faced pressure to act against overspending in Spain and Portugal from countries like Germany and the Netherlands, which have insisted that a common currency needs commonly enforced rules.

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Jon Nazca/Reuters

BRUSSELS — European Union officials, facing the rise of populist movements across the region, opted against hitting Spain and Portugal with sanctions on Wednesday for breaking the bloc’s rules on government spending.

The refusal to impose fines highlights how the 28-nation bloc is struggling with divergent strains of populist and anti-European forces across a region where one member state, Britain, has already…

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