Sarkozy, Merkel kick off week of crisis talks in Paris

December 5, 2011 03:05


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PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were set to meet in Paris on Monday under pressure to align their positions on centralizing control of euro zone budgets to stem a debt crisis that threatens Europe's currency union.

After individually outlining their views last week on closer fiscal integration, the two leaders must overcome remaining differences in order to fine tune proposals they want to present to EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday, on the eve of a summit.

The duo, increasingly dubbed "Merkozy" as they intensify bilateral efforts to restore confidence in the battered euro zone, were scheduled to meet over lunch at 1:30 p.m. (12:30 GMT) on Monday and were expected to hold a news conference afterward.

They aim to agree proposals for more coercive budget discipline in the euro zone, likely via treaty change, which they want all 27 EU leaders to approve at Friday's summit.

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