French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for a coordinated plan to revive the European economy, saying 1 percent of European Union gross domestic product would be appropriate.
"The European stability and growth pact should be applied with flexibility," Sarkozy and Merkel wrote in a joint newspaper article to be published Wednesday in France's Le Figaro and Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
"There will be time later to build a proper budgetary recovery plan," the two leaders said, adding that the government had to head off a "recessionary spiral in our countries," and the national stimulus plans should match the target "circumstance permitting."
Even though there is no single recovery model that can be applied to the 27 member states, the two leaders said they believe that coordinated budgetary stimulus can restore the confidence of European economies.
The European Commission is seeking an agreement with EU states on a package of measures, including temporary sales tax cuts, to help their economies.