France, Germany Discussing Pared Down Euro Zone

Controversial plan means some countries would be out

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 9, 2011 1:40 PM CST

(Newser) – German and French officials have had “intense consultation” at “all levels” in recent months about the possibility of slimming down the euro zone to its strongest members, and then more closely integrating the fiscal policies of those countries, sources tell Reuters. “You’ll still call it the euro, but it will be fewer countries,” one German official explained. “We won’t be able to speak with one voice and make tough decisions in the euro zone as it is today.”

Nicolas Sarkozy broached the idea openly yesterday when he said that a two-speed Europe—with a core euro zone sprinting ahead of the rest of the EU—was the only way forward. But the idea would face much opposition, including from some presumed core members like the Netherlands and Austria. “This will unravel everything our forebears have painstakingly built up,” one diplomat said. “It could truly be the end of Europe as we know it.”

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are seen as they arrive for a press conference after a meeting with George Papandreou and EU and IMF representatives, Nov. 2, 2011.
Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy are seen as they arrive for a press conference after a meeting with George Papandreou and EU and IMF representatives, Nov. 2, 2011.   (Getty Images)
Anti-globalization members wearing masks of German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are seen during a pretend press conference in Nice, Nov. 3, 2011.
Anti-globalization members wearing masks of German chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are seen during a pretend press conference in Nice, Nov. 3, 2011.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
6%
12%
15%
6%
33%
27%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!