FRENCH President Nicolas Sarkozy, under pressure from a spiralling Eurozone debt crisis five months before a presidential election, told France last night the euro bloc needs closer and stricter coordination of national budgets to survive.
Seeking to reassure the public ahead of a Franco-German push to redraw the European Union’s founding treaty, Sarkozy promised that reforming Europe would mean closer inter-governmental cooperation, not handing control to a supra-national body.
‘The reform of Europe is not a march towards supra-nationality,” he said in a speech to some 5,000 supporters in the Mediterranean port of Toulon. “The integration of Europe will go the inter-governmental way because Europe needs to make strategic political choices.”
Sarkozy said he would meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris on Monday to push ahead with joint proposals for a new EU treaty to fix flaws in the Maastricht Treaty and create a true economic government for the bloc.
He said France and every other Eurozone country needed to enshrine a budget-balancing “golden rule” in their constitutions, to force stricter fiscal discipline as the bloc strives to reform itself or get left behind.
He also said the European Central Bank must stay independent and decide for itself when to act against the risk of deflation.
“Let us not hide it, Europe may be swept away by the crisis if it doesn’t get a grip, if it doesn’t change,” he said.