Merkel and Sarkozy – who according to Paris telephone daily about the turbulence hitting financial markets – released a joint statement late Wednesday evening welcoming the concerted interest rate cuts by the world's leading central banks. Merkel also spoke with US President George Bush on the same evening.
After press reports early this week that Sarkozy was fuming over Merkel's resistance to setting up an EU bailout fund, the French leader said at conference in Evian that he was working “hand in hand” with the German chancellor.
“Our watches tell the same time. For me, the friendship and solidarity of ties between France and Germany absolutely paramount,” Sarkozy said.