Sarkozy and Merkel 'aiming for growth'
Monday 09 January 2012
France and Germany have said boosting economic growth across Europe was a priority in their efforts to stem the debt crisis that is showing signs of spreading across the 17 euro currency countries.
Following a meeting in Berlin with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also urged Greece and its private creditors to quickly agree the restructuring of the country's national debt if it is to receive its next batch of bailout cash.
In October the eurozone agreed a second handout for Greece that involves the country's private creditors accepting a 50% reduction in the value of their holdings of Greek debt.
She added that both she and Mr Sarkozy want Greece to receive the money.
"We want for Greece to remain in the eurozone," she said.
The two leaders also said they would consider speeding up payments into the 17-nation eurozone's permanent rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, in an effort to bolster confidence, and for a quick conclusion to negotiations on a new treaty enshrining fiscal rules.
Germany has insisted on austerity measures in the so-called eurozone's fight to lower budget deficits and regain investor confidence. Europe is working to hammer out a new treaty enshrining tougher fiscal rules, which leaders agreed at a summit in early December.
Mrs Merkel added that resolving the crisis will be "step-by-step ... there's no single-dimension solution."
They also said that Europe should compare countries' labour market practices and learn from the best, and for European funds to be used in a way that could create jobs.
The French and German leaders are working to draw up new budget and fiscal guidelines by March to help contain a debt crisis that threatens to engulf the eurozone.
Greece, whose sovereign debt problems sparked the current crisis, is struggling top impose austerity measures to ensure that it secures a second bailout to ensure that it does not default on its debt and remain in eurozone.
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned union leaders and business groups last week that decisions made in the next few weeks, ahead of a new visit by international debt inspectors, will determine the country's future in Europe.
Greece is also working to strike a deal with creditors for the 50% reduction in their holdings of Greek debt to try to put the country back on its feet.
Mrs Merkel and Mr Sarkozy will travel to Italy on January 20 before a European summit at the end of the month.
Italy is a key focus of the crisis because of its size, huge debt load and need to borrow heavily in the first quarter. The yield on its 10-year bonds is hovering around the 7% level that is widely-considered to be a danger mark.
The push to secure a future for the eurozone comes amid hopes that some parts of Europe might avoid a recession this year.
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 2 Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 4 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
- 5 The 20 toughest job interview questions in the world
Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
Pictures show young Palestinian girl biting Israeli soldier trying to detain boy during West Bank protests
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...