French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated that France and Germany must stand together for the eurozone to survive the devastating sovereign debt crisis that has been plaguing it for the better part of this year.
Working with Merkel
In his important speech at the port of Toulon, Sarkozy announced that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be meeting on Monday to discuss measures that would “guarantee the future of Europe.”
The speech focused on the fact that France cannot hope to control the fate of the eurozone on its own, and will work at continuing strong ties with Germany to ensure stability in the single currency bloc.
He also promised that France would not endanger its sovereignty when pursuing the economic convergence that is necessary to pull Europe out of a devastating financial crisis.
However, he did say that France and other European countries must pull closer together for the euro to continue to exist.
Sarkozy went on to say that Europe needed to be “refounded” with France and Germany at the heart of a “zone of stability.” He noted that it was especially important to show total solidarity in the face of many who doubt the stability of the euro and are predicting the end of the eurozone altogether.
However, within the eurozone, Sarkozy stated that harsher sanctions are needed for countries who do not meet their responsibilities, and that greater financial discipline is needed as a whole within the bloc.
He also admitted that European leaders did not act quickly enough in response to the eurozone debt crisis.
While the French President said he agreed with Germany calls for a new European treaty to govern inter-state relations, he rejected Berlin’s idea to have national budgets regulated by the EU in Brussels.
In November, he called for a “two-speed Europe,” as 30 countries could not support full economic integration. He called for more integration within the 17 countries that use the euro, while another track would be reserved for “confederation in the EU.”
Britain has expressed concerns about the model of a two-speed Europe, as it fears it could be left behind with other countries that have not adopted the continental currency.
Sarkozy is set to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Paris on Friday.