Merkel and Sarkozy hammer out tough new EU treaty

These two were definitely talking with their mouths full. In just three hours, the German Chancellor and French PM compiled a list of reforms to help save the eurozone.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander

Over lunch on Monday, ‘Merkozy’ was engaged in a political tug of war. On one side, Sarkozy clung grimly to his vision of a sovereign French nation, buffered by its alliance with the EU but free from subjugation. On the other, Merkel tugged relentlessly at the legislative rope, demanding greater unity across the EU nations to enforce stability and save the single currency.

Merkel was bound to gain ground. Against the backdrop of a stuttering EU economy, a downtrodden euro and a fast-approaching deadline for resolution – Friday, no less – an attempt to hang on to independence seems both archaic and mercenary: playground politics.

So here’s what was decided:

• There will be automatic sanctions for failing to meet a new ‘no more than 3% of GDP’ deficit rule.

• Goodbye unanimity. Hello qualified majority. Only 85% of the treaty nations need to agree in order for sanctions to be overturned.

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