Monday, December 05, 2011

The French and German leaders make their stand

The New York Times reports that French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel have announced that the time has come for significant changes to the European Union treaty.
The two primary leaders of the euro zone, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, issued their first joint call on Monday for amendments to Europe’s governing treaties to provide better economic governance for the 17 countries of the euro zone.

The leaders met over lunch at the Élysée Palace to prepare joint proposals to offer the full membership the European Union in Brussels on Thursday night. They agreed to propose automatic penalties for countries that exceed European deficit limits as well as the creation of a monetary fund for Europe. They also backed monthly meetings of European leaders.
Reuters provides additional details of what the two leaders will present later this week.
Mr. Sarkozy said that the new proposals would include a modified EU treaty, ideally for all 27 EU members, but that they were also ready to draw up a treaty for the 17 euro zone members though this would be open to others.
This treaty would include automatic sanctions for states who fail to meet the 3 per cent deficit rule, as well as a budget-balancing rule across the euro zone.
Short answer from where I sit -- it's about time.

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