PARIS - US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Wednesday to press for decisive steps towards resolving Europe's deepening debt crisis as the region's leaders prepare for a crucial summit this week.
Geithner voiced strong support for a Franco-German blueprint for an overhaul of the European Union (EU) treaty during a visit to Berlin on Tuesday, after credit rating agency Standard & Poor's fired a second warning shot at the bloc in 24 hours by threatening to cut the credit rating of its EFSF rescue fund.
Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are due to propose to Friday's EU summit a plan to impose mandatory penalties on euro zone states that exceed deficit targets, with the aim of restoring market trust and preventing the region's deepening debt crisis spiralling out of control.
Details of their treaty reform proposals were due to be presented on Wednesday in a letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who will chair the meeting of 27 EU leaders.
Geithner was due to meet with French Finance Minister Francois Baroin in Paris early on Wednesday, before holding lunchtime talks with Sarkozy at the Elysee presidential palace.