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France - Germany - European Union

Sarkozy and Merkel agree on anti-crisis co-operation


French President Nicolas Sarkozy backed away from confrontation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at talks in Berlin on Monday. They come before Thursday's summit of European Union leaders which will discuss the crisis facing the eurozone.


At the meeting, Sarkozy declared that he was dropping a proposal for a new secretariat for the 16 EU members that use the euro. Merkel was opposed to this not including all 27 members of the EU.

Both leaders agree in the wake of the Greek debt crisis that the EU needs closer economic co-operation.

Sarkozy also came round to agreement on Germany's proposal to withdraw rights of EU members who are in serious breach of the bloc's rules on deficits.

But he said that eurozone leaders would still hold what he called "operational, pragmatic and rapid" meetings if the need arose.

France 24 on the Greek crisis

The two European leaders also agreed to push for a financial transaction tax and a global banking levy at the G20 summit in Toronto, Canada later this month.

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