Germany, France call for European economic government

PARIS (AP) — All 17 countries that use the euro currency should have mandatory balanced budgets and better coordination of economic policy, the leaders of France and Germany said Tuesday.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also pledged to harmonize their countries’ corporate taxes in a move aimed at showing the eurozone’s largest members are “marching in lockstep” to protect the euro.

Both leaders stressed their commitment to defending the common currency, a cornerstone of integration on this long-fractured continent.  But they opted to stress long-term political solutions instead of immediate financial measures, like a single European bond to help bail out weak countries.

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