French President Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to pull his country out of the euro currency group to force Germany to help Greece with its debt crisis, El Pais newspaper reported on Friday, quoting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Sarkozy made the threat at a Brussels summit of EU leaders last Friday that sealed a rescue package, Zapatero told a meeting with leaders of his Socialist Party on Wednesday, the newspaper reported.
Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, has been the most reluctant euro nation to help the Greek government.
However the French president demanded “a commitment by everyone, for everyone to help Greece, each according to his means or France would reexamine its situation in the euro,” Zapatero was quoted as saying.
“Sarkozy banged his fist on the table and threatened to withdraw from the euro, which twisted the arm of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor,” a Socialist official who heard Zapatero’s account was quoted as saying.