Pressure from the financial markets has forced European leaders to interrupt their summer holidays and tackle the continent’s sovereign debt crisis.
German voters, however, were left wondering about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s whereabouts.
She last appeared in public on the 26th of July at the Bayreuth festival before taking off for a two-week hiking break in Italy.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called an emergency meeting on Wednesday to reiterate his commitment to cutting France’s fiscal deficit and staving off a possible credit downgrade.
Standard and Poor’s stripped the US of its prized rating last week. Investors have been spooked by market speculation that France will be the next country to lose its top AAA status.
The French stock market fell 11 percent last week on the rumours, while doubts persist about the health of the Spanish and Italian economies and the future of the single currency.
Successive EU bailouts have dented Merkel’s approval ratings.
In her absence, Economy Minister Philip Rösler has proposed a euro zone stability council to monitor the economic health of its seventeen members.
Rösler now wants to present his ideas at an EU level.
But those final decisions will ultimately be taken by Merkel and Sarkozy.
The two leaders will meet in Paris aiming to produce “joint proposals” on how to improve euro zone governance and help its indebted economies.