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