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Germany, France To Push New EU Treaty At Crucial Summit


Fraench President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been working so closely in recent weeks that commentators have taken to calling them "Merkozy."
The leaders of Germany and France today called for a new European Union treaty to prevent a repeat of the current debt crisis in the eurozone.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris that the two countries would prefer a treaty agreed by all 27 members of the European Union.

Sarkozy, however, said they would also accept a treaty among just the 17 countries that use the euro, with other members signing up on a voluntary basis.

The new treaty should include automatic sanctions for countries that violate rules meant to keep government deficits under 3 percent.

"We want automatic sanctions in case of nonrespect of the rule imposing deficits of less than 3 percent," Sarkozy said. "And we want that only a qualified majority could oppose itself. That's the opposite of what happens today."

Sarkozy said the Franco-German proposal will be detailed in a letter to EU President Herman Van Rompuy on December 7, a day before an EU summit convenes in Brussels.

The summit is expected to unveil a major plan to tackle the region's debt crisis.

compiled from agency reports

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