“At a debate today in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt urged the leaders of France and Germany to set aside short term national interests in favour of the survival of the EU:
"There has been much media speculation in recent days that the end of the euro is close. This is less because of the inability of Greece, Italy or Spain to control their debt but the inability of Germany and France to agree on the necessary steps to save the Euro.
"In the past France and Germany have represented the driving force of European integration. Today their differences threaten the EU's very survival."
"Sarkozy refuses to accept fiscal union with its implications of a transfer of sovereignty to a collective and objective judge of sound budgetary policy such as the European Commission or European Court of Justice."
"On the other hand, Chancellor Merkel calls one week for closer political union and the next she blocks proposals that go in this direction such as a common European redemption fund to reduce excessive debt, proposed by her own council of economic advisors.
"It is a very dangerous moment to be playing a game of 'chicken' with Europe's future, waiting to see who will blink first. Their indecision and inconsistency are doing great harm to the Union. It is imperative that they both lift their opposition to some of the practical options on the table to stabilize the current market turbulence that risks engulfing us all."”