News / Europe

Sarkozy Says France, Germany Will Offer Debt Crisis Plan

French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech on the European debt crisis on December 1, 2011 in Toulon, southeastern France.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech on the European debt crisis on December 1, 2011 in Toulon, southeastern France.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that France and Germany will offer a new plan next week to rescue Europe from its debt crisis to save the common euro currency.

Mr. Sarkozy said Thursday night that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the leaders of Europe's two biggest economies, would make proposals on Monday to "guarantee the future of Europe."  He said that "Europe must be refounded."  Ms. Merkel plans to lay out her vision for ending the continent's two-year-long debt crisis in a speech to the German Parliament on Friday.

The French leader, facing a tough re-election contest next April, spoke to his countrymen from the Mediterranean port of Toulon.  He said that France and Germany, "after so many tragedies, decided to unite their destiny, to look to the future together."  He said that to do otherwise "would be inexcusable."

Mr. Sarkozy offered few details of the shape of a new Europe, but said the two countries would push for a new agreement to replace the 1992 Maastricht Treaty that created the European Union and led to the advent of the euro in 1999.  It is now the currency for 17 nations, but Mr. Sarkozy said there could be no common currency without "economic convergence," an apparent reference to greater central control over the budgets of individual eurozone nations.

Any treaty changes would have to be approved by all 27 EU members, 10 of which have their own currencies.

Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said earlier Thursday that the bank might give new assistance to the continent's debt-ridden governments, but only if the eurozone countries first adopt "a new fiscal compact" to control the spending of individual countries.

Draghi said more centralized oversight of budgets was "the most important element" for the eurozone nations to adopt before the bank would consider increasing its current limited purchases of government debt..

"Companies, markets and the citizens of Europe expect policy-makers to act decisively to resolve the crisis.  It is time to adapt the euro area design with a set of institutions, rules and processes that is commensurate with the requirements of monetary union," Draghi said.

The European debt crisis has threatened the survival of the continent's monetary union, with some analysts suggesting that the demise of the euro would send the world economy into a recessionary tailspin.  The eurozone economy is struggling, with one new report by the financial information firm Markit showing that manufacturing fell to a 28-month low in November.

The long reach of the debt crisis touched Greece and Spain on Thursday.  Greek unions took to the streets in Athens in a 24-hour protest of the austerity policies supported by the caretaker government of new Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.  Spain raised more than $5 billion in new funding, but it had to pay its highest interest rate in at least six years.

Stock markets in Asia soared Thursday, continuing a global rally after the world's major central banks took coordinated steps Wednesday to support Europe's troubled economy.  European and U.S. markets traded in a narrow range one day after recording huge gains on the central banks' cut in the cost of borrowing U.S. dollars.

Shares in Japan's Nikkei average closed up nearly two percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Sang Index surged more than 5.5 percent.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid