News / Europe

Sarkozy, Merkel Agree on Steps to Save Euro Currency Union

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (l) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris, Dec. 5, 2011.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (l) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris, Dec. 5, 2011.
Lisa Bryant

The French and German leaders want to amend key European treaties to provide greater fiscal oversight and governance over the ailing, 17-member euro currency union. Following talks in Paris Monday, they outlined a series of measures to resolve the eurozone crisis that they plan to present at a European Union summit this week.

Europe's two biggest economies appear to have resolved major differences on how to save the euro currency union.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his German counterpart, Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy outlined a series of steps the two leaders have agreed on. Key among them are mandatory limits on budget deficits that eurozone members must adhere to, or risk possible sanctions. Both want eurozone nations to meet monthly to deal with the crisis. And they want the new rules to be part of a renegotated European Union treaty to be completed by March.

Sarkozy said Europe's sovereign debt and banking crisis makes it all the more critical for France and Germany to offer a united front. To disagree, he said, is to risk having Europe and the euro currency explode.

Angela Merkel said Europe faces a very difficult situation. It is critical to reestablish confidence on the part of investors and the international community.

The two leaders will seek endorsement from European Union leaders at a summit later this week. Mr. Sarkozy said they hope all 27 EU leaders will agree to their proposals, but if not, they will push for agreement from the 17 eurozone members.

Markets already are rising in expectation that European leaders will make key decisions this week. But Thomas Klau, head of the Paris office for the European Council on Foreign Relations, doubts the EU summit will resolve the euro crisis once and for all.

"Will the summit in Brussels…be the one to end this prolonged crisis? I'm skeptical," said Klau.

Monday's meeting in Paris is one of a series of high-level talks on the crisis this week. Underscoring growing fears of the crisis spreading overseas, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is in Europe this week meeting with top officials, including Sarkozy and Italy's new Prime Minister Mario Monti.

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