German Chancellor Angela Merkel said alongside her French and Italian peers on Thursday that making progress to more fiscal union in the euro zone would not mean she would suddenly agree to euro bonds or changing the role of the European Central Bank.
"When we take a first step toward fiscal union, for example by reinforcing the Stability and Growth Pact via automatic sanctions, it will be a step forwards but it won't be grounds for me to change the opinion I expressed yesterday," Merkel said.

She told parliament a day earlier it was "extraordinarily inappropriate" for the European Commission to make proposals for joint bond issuance at this stage and that she remained "firmly convinced" the ECB's mandate could not be changed.

At a joint news conference with France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Italy's Mario Monti after their meeting in Strasbourg, Merkel reiterated her belief that joint bonds would remove incentives for individual states to improve their fiscal discipline.