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Sarkozy denies rift with Merkel over euro

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Sarkozy denies rift with Merkel over euro

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Nicolas Sarkozy has denied that he is at odds with Angela Merkel over the eurozone crisis. He spoke after a meeting in Paris with the new British Prime Minister David Cameron, whose country is not in the euro.

Berlin annoyed Paris by acting alone in banning some types of short-selling. But the French President said they agreed on eurozone reform, especially on the principle of penalising countries with excessive deficits.

“(If) a country has a very large deficit and we impose a financial penalty, what’s the result? That the deficit gets bigger… so we really must think up more efficient sanctions. The Chancellor has made suggestions; I myself have proposed suspending voting rights,” Sarkozy said.

David Cameron, whose country is not in the euro, showed no sign of complacency:
“It is in Britain’s interests that the euro zone is a success, that the euro is a successful currency, that the eurozone economies recover, that the structural problems and balances are addressed,” he said.

President Sarkozy defended the euro as a success despite the recent turmoil. France and Germany have pledged to work closely together on eurozone reform and global financial regulation.

David Cameron visits Berlin on Friday.