Nicolas Sarkozy in landmark EU speech

Thursday 01 December 2011 22.00
Nicolas Sarkozy is to make a landmark speech on the eurozone crisis
Nicolas Sarkozy is to make a landmark speech on the eurozone crisis

French President Nicholas Sarkozy has said that France and Germany were both proposing a new European Treaty that would "re-affirm and re-invent" Europe.

He said German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Paris for talks on Monday on the euro zone debt crisis.

Both countries have said they will make joint proposals for stronger powers to enforce budget discipline in the euro area.

The meeting comes ahead of a summit of European leaders in Brussels on 9 December.

Mr Sarkozy made the comments during a landmark speech on the eurozone crisis, which he is delivered in the port city of Toulon.

Mr Sarkozy, who is facing an election next April, used the speech to prepare voters for the momentous changes that may be needed as part of an overall deal to save the single currency over the coming days.

In his speech he said France and Germany must "converge to form a ball of stability" and be the "engine" of the European economy.

"If we cannot over-haul Europe, the world will not wait for Europe," he said.

Mr Sarkozy had deliberately chosen Toulon to deliver this address.

In September September 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis, Mr Sarkozy spoke there to decry the excesses of capitalism.

During this speech he spoke of tough new rules for the euro zone, of countries losing their veto, more discipline and true economic governance.

He said European nations would have to rei-nvent and re-construct everything.

He said France would push with Germany for a new treaty which would, re-launch and re-think the organisation of Europe.

Earlier the Taoiseach Enda Kenny had said he was looking forward to the speech from Mr Sarkosy, as well as the one due from German Chancellor Angela Merkel tomorrow.

He said this is a time for leadership and to send a very clear signal to the markets that the Euro and the eur ozone can and will be protected.

He said the essence of that is clear leadership and that he will espouse his views on that next week.

John Bruton says Europe needs to get it right this time

Speaking this evening on RTÉ’s Six-One News, former Taoiseach John Bruton said Europe needed to get the right solution this time.

He said provisional measures to date have been demoralising for the markets and for people trying to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Mr Bruton said there will be a lot of very important bond auctions in January and February by a number of countries and it was important to have a robust system in place before then.

He said if that was not there to underpin those bond auctions, Europe could have something unexpected causing a major crisis.

Mr Bruton also said no one could gain from the break-up of the single currency and the idea that Greece could solve its problems by devaluing is nonsensical.

He said the collapse of the Greek banking system would be the immediate result of Greece leaving the Euro and he also believes it would lead to the break-up of the EU itself.