German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy pushed for a rewrite of the European Union's governing rules to tighten economic cooperation in a demonstration of unity on ending the debt crisis.

Stocks and the euro rose after Merkel and Sarkozy said that Europe's two biggest economies were aligned on backing automatic penalties for deficit violators and locking limits on debt into euro states' constitutions. The French leader said they aimed to reach consensus on the changes required by March.

"We don't have time — we are conscious of the gravity of the situation," Sarkozy said after the two met over lunch at the Elysee palace in Paris today. "We want to go as fast as possible based on this agreement between France and Germany, which is open to others."

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