Sarkozy tells Monti Italy will pull through
French President Nicolas Sarkozy congratulated Italy's new leader, Prime Minister Mario Monti, on his appointment Wednesday and expressed confidence their governments will beat the debt crisis.
"The weeks to come will be decisive. Together we will succeed," Sarkozy wrote, according to a copy of the letter released by his office.
"I am convinced that Italy's adoption of new measures in addition to plans already put in place will permit it, with confidence, to rediscover the way to stability and growth," he added.
Italy owes 1.9 trillion euros and France just over 1.7 trillion, sums far too large for the existing European bail-out fund to cover in the event of either government running out of cash to pay.
Both countries have embarked on austerity programmes, and Monti took office Wednesday after markets lost confidence in his gaffe-prone predecessor Silvio Berlusconi's ability to handle the crisis.
Monti, a 68-year-old economist and former European commissioner, said his technocratic new team would focus "on coordinated initiatives for economic growth and development."
© 2011 AFP