German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy plan to drive forward their agenda for stricter budget rules as they seek to craft a master plan for rescuing the euro over the next three months.

The euro rose as the two leaders met in Berlin to flesh out a rulebook for budgetary discipline negotiated at a Dec. 9 summit that seeks to create a "fiscal compact" for the 17-member euro area. At their first meeting of 2012, they also plan to discuss a financial-transaction tax, progress on Greece's second bailout and a Jan. 30 European summit that will focus on bolstering growth, the German government said.

The German and French leaders have sponsored a plan to draw up new fiscal guidelines by March to resolve a crisis that began in Greece more than two years ago. As the contagion moves to the euro-area's core, policy makers are struggling to persuade investors they can contain the risk and assure the single currency's survival. Merkel and Sarkozy are due to hold a joint press conference at about 1:30 p.m. Berlin time.

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