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Merkel Says Eurozone Moving Toward A 'Fiscal Union'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressing her country's parliament on December 2.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says European nations are moving toward creating a "fiscal union with strict rules" as they battle the debt crisis threatening the collapse of the common European currency.

Merkel, in a speech to the German parliament on December 2, said that Germany and France would propose changes to EU treaties at an union summit in Brussels next week to prevent a breakup of the 17-nation eurozone.

"We are going to Brussels with the goal, and I want to emphasize this, of bringing about treaty changes," she said, adding that this should be done in "a spirit whereby we want to avoid creating a wedge between euro countries and non-euro countries."

Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are expected to meet on December 5 to work on joint proposals ahead of the December 9 summit.

In a speech on December 1, Sarkozy said the EU will have to make crucial choices in the coming weeks to preserve the euro and the EU.

Next week's summit is being seen as a last-ditch chance for EU leaders to agree on moves to prevent the euro from collapsing under the weight of the debt crises in Greece, Italy and elsewhere.

compiled from agency reports