“Following two major speeches from both President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel, the chances of a coherent European response to the crisis next week still look slim.
Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader said:
"Sarkozy's speech last night was clearly addressing his domestic electorate for re-election as President of France and not as a champion of European unity. His vision is a Gaullist one which has been superseded by greater European integration. It is the intergovernmental Europe of nation states all selfishly fighting their own corner that has brought us to where we are now. The only way out of the crisis without destroying both the Single Currency and the Single Market is to rally behind the Community method based on solidarity and the common interest."
"European construction is based on commonly agreed rules, enforced by independent authorities like the European Commission and Court of Justice. Merkel and Sarkozy must not undo this fundamental principle in their quest for an end to the crisis."
"The elements of a solution are already on the table. As Mario Draghi said yesterday, it is basically just a question of sequencing. We need greater fiscal discipline from all Member States of the eurozone along with a commitment to solidarity which must include a common vision to reduce public debt with some form of mutual guarantee.
We may need to entrench these principles via a Treaty update but measures need to be taken now, not in several months time. Merkel and Sarkozy have only a few days to sort out their differences or Europe risks being set back 50 years."”