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

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults 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.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid