Merkel-Sarkozy Plan Shuns Bolder Steps

German, French leaders rule out issuing euro bonds or expanding the bailout fund.

The latest Franco-German strategy to counter the euro debt crisis stressed ideas already in the works, shunning bolder steps investors were seeking to calm markets.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy ruled out steps such as the issuance of euro bonds or expanding the bailout fund. They backed a plan being drawn up for national balanced-budget amendments and reheated one rejected last year for a financial-transaction tax. They called for the 17 euro leaders to hold two summits a year, the same number of times they have already met in 2011.

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