Wow, Nicolas Sarkozy Banged His Fist On A Table And Threatened To Pull Out Of The Euro

Friday, May 14, 2010
By Paul Martin

Sarkozy demanded ‘a compromise from everyone to support Greece … or France would reconsider its position in the euro’, according to Spanish newspaper El País

Giles Tremlett and Richard Wray
Guardian.co.uk
Friday 14 May 2010

French president Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to pull his country out of the euro if other EU countries, especially Germany, did not agree to help rescue debt-laden Greece.

The French president made his startling threat at a Brussels summit of EU leaders last Friday, at which the deal to bail out Greece was agreed, according to a report in El País newspaper quoting Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

Zapatero revealed details of the French threat at a closed-doors meeting of leaders from his Spanish socialist party on Wednesday.

Sarkozy demanded “a compromise from everyone to support Greece … or France would reconsider its position in the euro,” according to one source cited by El País.

“Sarkozy went as far as banging his fist on the table and threatening to leave the euro,” said one unnamed Socialist leader who was at the meeting with Zapatero. “That obliged Angela Merkel to bend and reach an agreement.”

A different source who was at the meeting with Zapatero told El País that “France, Italy and Spain formed a common front against German and Sarkozy threatened Merkel with a break in the traditional Franco-German axis.”

El País also quotes Sarkozy as having said, according to another of those who met Zapatero, that “if at time like this, with all that is happening, Europe is not capable of a united response, then the euro makes no sense”.

Germany has been reluctant to act throughout the Greece crisis. But the meeting in Brussels finally put together a €110bn (£94bn) rescue package.

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