But investors weren't impressed by the French and German leaders' commitment to greater regional integration. They wanted a bigger bailout fund for the euro, and they didn't get it.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy said today that their countries' economic futures are dependent on a healthy euro and promised to work toward greater European economic integration to protect against a future crisis for the currency.
Their meeting in Paris was aimed at reassuring investors frightened about the future of the euro after bailouts in Ireland, Greece, and Portugal and worried that major economies like Italy or Spain could be next. The two leaders praised the common currency as a force for stability and unity in Europe and promised to work toward harmonizing the spending and taxation polices of euro members to head off another debt blowout.
But investors, hoping for promises of a larger bailout fund and concerned about slowing growth, were disappointed, and stocks fell in the US after the meeting.
“The euro is our future,” said Chancellor Merkel. “It is the source not only of our wealth, but also of our peaceful co-existence in Europe.”