'No second chance' if euro summit fails
Marseille - French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned on Thursday that there would be "no second chance" if a crucial European Union summit failed to reach a deal to save the euro.
"Never has Europe been so necessary and never has it been in so much danger... Never has the risk of Europe's explosion been so great," Sarkozy said with only hours to go before the EU summit in Brussels.
"If we don't have an agreement on Friday, we will not have a second chance," Sarkozy told a meeting of European conservative parties in the French port of Marseille.
As EU leaders geared up for the last-chance summit to save the debt-laden eurozone from collapse, Paris and Berlin were desperately drumming up support for their plan to amend treaties to fix the currency union.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed hope of a deal and urged non-eurozone EU members like Britain to back reforms.
"We will find good solutions. I'm convinced that we will find a solution to all these questions," Merkel said in Marseille, admitting that talks would be "difficult" at the EU summit.
"I ask for understanding from those who do not have the euro. We must send a strong signal to the outside. Words alone are not enough, we need more ties, we need treaty changes," she said.
The Franco-German plan would impose stricter fiscal rules including legal or constitutional limits on deficits and automatic penalties for eurozone nations that overspend.
Amid fears the eurozone's woes could trigger a global economic downturn, US President Barack Obama spoke by telephone with Merkel on Wednesday, urging a "lasting and credible solution" to the crisis.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also said Moscow was "very disturbed" by the crisis "because it affects the situation in the whole world and our country too".
Prime Minister David Cameron also made it clear that Britain intended to seek a high price for supporting euro nations.
Eurozone leaders have warned that if the 27-nation bloc cannot reach a deal, the monetary union could go it alone.