Euro zone finance ministers tried to calm nervous financial markets at their meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.
To do that they have been working on agreeing details of a massive safety net for the euro zone.
In addition they would like to put stricter budget discipline rules in place.
Germany’s announcement of tough austerity measures – which coincided with the Luxembourg meeting – was designed to set an example to Europe in budget consolidation and help restore market confidence.
Austria’s Finance Minister, Josef Pröll, said others have to do the same: “I think it’s the right message at the right time to start tackling the debt crisis right now, and that means reducing annual budget deficits.”
Speaking before the meeting about the weakening euro, the ministers from the 16 countries that share the single currency talked up the fact that its fall helps euro zone exporters, but they did express concern about the speed of its decline.
On Monday, the euro briefly slipped to a fresh four-year-low against the dollar, below $1.19.