Italy and France need to work 'harder and faster' to resolve their structural problems, a senior ally of German chancellor Angela Merkel said today.
Michael Meister, a key figure in Merkel's Christian Democrats, said: 'Italy and France have structural problems to resolve and not economic problems.
'They can't wait any longer. More time won't relieve the problem. It'll only make it worse.'
However, French president Francois Hollande warned that the EU's austerity policy was threatening the continent's stability and could even see Europe 'wiped out from the world map'.