BERLIN: Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy called Tuesday for Paris and Berlin to make a joint push for "a new European treaty" following Britain's vote on whether to leave the bloc.
After talks with Germany's Angela Merkel, Sarkozy said: "I told the chancellor that to save Europe, there would have to be a French-German initiative in the coming months, with a new treaty that tells 450 million Europeans that we have heard what they are saying, that we understand how they feel."
"I think that the chancellor is ready," he said after a closed-door lunch, adding "that's all the better as there will soon be elections in France that would be followed by polls in Germany".
Sarkozy also stressed the importance of core EU members France and Germany leading Europe.
"What is the problem today? There is no leadership because in the French-German couple, the 'French' is missing," he said, in a direct attack against President Francois Hollande, who defeated Sarkozy in the 2012 polls.
Hollande is now battling record unpopularity at home and struggling to put down social strife over economic reforms.