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Sarkozy and Merkel set for crunch EU debt crisis talks

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-22

The finance ministers of the 17 eurozone economies are reportedly set to meet Saturday evening to hammer out a solution to the crisis. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel are also for talks aimed at solving the current impasse.

AFP - Finance ministers from the 17 countries that share the euro were to hold a fresh round of talks Saturday, a European source told AFP, as differences remained over solving the euro crisis.

"It's not a new Eurogroup, it's the follow-up from Friday's meeting," said the source, referring to seven hours of negotiations that eventually culminated in a deal to unlock a much-needed eight billion euros in aid to Greece.

Ministers also agreed Friday that banks and private investors would have to shoulder a much greater share of the costs of a Greek rescue package -- with losses of at least 50 percent on their bondholdings under consideration.

Earlier Saturday, ministers from all 27 EU member states met to attempt to thrash out a deal on recapitalising the key banks amid fears their losses could spark a banking crisis.

And the top two players in the eurozone drama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were scheduled to meet on Saturday night in a bid to achieve a breakthrough.

The two European powerhouses have been at loggerheads over how best to boost the firepower of a 440-billion-euro ($610-billion) bailout fund to save the euro crisis from spreading to bigger economies like Spain and Italy.

EU president Herman Van Rompuy and the head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, were also expected to attend.

The heads of the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund might also take part.

On Sunday, the leaders of all 27 EU countries are scheduled to hold a summit that is unlikely to yield a final solution to the euro crisis.

Van Rompuy has already called leaders back to Brussels on Wednesday for what he termed a "decision-making" summit.

Date created : 2011-10-22


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