France, Germany seek EU unity

Feb. 5, 2011 at 8:18 AM
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BRUSSELS, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- France and Germany have proposed financial rules for the eurozone that German Chancellor Angela Merkel said would increase Europe's competitiveness.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy also endorsed the plan that would eliminate salary indexation systems and create a more uniform corporate tax structure among eurozone members, the EUobserver reported Saturday.

The proposal would also put into place an early-warning system into national constitutions to alert the international community of high government debt. In addition, it would set up a management system for failing banks.

"France and Germany are working hand in glove to defend the euro," Sarkozy said at a Friday news conference in Brussels.

But Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said the proposals cross the line in their quest for uniformity.

"There must be more economic cooperation, but member states must be left the room to carry out their own policies," he said.

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