German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are meeting in Berlin Monday to address the growing debt crisis in the eurozone.
Both leaders say boosting the economy and ensuring funds are used to boost employment are the first order of business.
The two hope to produce new fiscal guidelines by March to keep Europe's debt crisis from overtaking the eurozone.
Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti will join them on Wednesday.
With its huge debt load requiring heavy borrowing in the first quarter of 2012, Italy is a key focus of the meetings because of its size.
Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos warned that his country could default on its debt payments if details of a second bailout aren't finalized quickly.
"If we want to secure our most significant achievements -- participation in the euro and avoidance of a massive, vertical income devaluation that a disorderly bankruptcy and exit from the euro would lead to...then we must accept a short-term income reduction," Papademos told union leaders and employers' federations.
Both Merkel and Sarkozy want to see Greece remain in the eurozone.
Merkel told reporters that doing so would a "step-by-step" process with no "single-dimension solution."