EU commission welcomes 'very positive' Franco-German summit
The European Commission said Tuesday that talks later in the day between the leaders of France and Germany were a "very positive" development for the eurozone, as the currency union logged weaker-than-expected new growth data.
"It is very positive that France and Germany are having these talks today," said commission spokesman Olivier Bailly of the talks in Paris between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"We will see tonight what will be the outcome of these discussions, and what will have to be decided by the other states," he said, adding that the commission "has been pushing for improvement" to eurozone economic governance "for many years."
He cited proposals lodged last year by European Union economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn, and a decision by eurozone leaders in July to give top officials an end-of-October deadline to come up with "strengthened governance."
However, Bailly dowplayed any potential progress on eurobonds, despite eurozone guarantees for the debt of its member governments being "an interesting idea."
He underlined: "We are not sure the political debate in Europe is ready for such a concrete development."
Bailly said Rehn will draw up a report on the feasability of eurobonds "once the parliament and the council has adopted the six-pack" of legislation originally drawn up to tighten the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, covering debt and deficit ceilings, and on which Sarkozy and Merkel now want to see further improvement.
© 2011 AFP