EU leaders pledge euro durability

EU leaders pledge euro durability

STROUSBURG - Agence France-Presse
EU leaders pledge euro durability

Sarkozy (L) welcomes Merkel at a meeting in Strasbourg yesterday. REUTERS photo

France, Germany and Italy are determined to do everything possible to ensure the survival of the euro, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after crisis talks yesterday.

Sarkozy said after a mini-summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti that the leaders had agreed to “do everything to support and guarantee the euro’s durability.”

Merkel said Germany and France’s plan to propose changes to EU treaties will not affect the independence of the European Central Bank (ECB), said yesterday.

Merkel has been under pressure to allow the ECB to become Europe’s lender of last resort but, after talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy, she said its role would remain unchanged, that is to control inflation before all else.

“The French president has just underlined the European Central Bank is independent,” Merkel told reporters after yesterday’s meeting.

“So the eventual modifications to the treaties will not concern the duties of the ECB, which concern monetary policy and monetary stability,” she added.

Sarkozy said that in order to respect the ECB’s independence, countries should make neither “positive nor negative demands” of it.

“All three of us said that with respect for the independence of this institution, one should refrain from positive or negative demands” of the ECB, Sarkozy said