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Merkel and Sarkozy discuss crisis in de Gaulle's hometown

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in former president Charles de Gaulle's hometown to inaugurate a memorial in his honour and discuss the financial crisis over lunch.

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy greeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel shortly before noon Paris time in the small French town of Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, where they will jointly inaugurate a memorial in honour of former French resistance hero, general and president Charles de Gaulle.

Former French President Jacques Chirac and his wife Bernadette will also attend the ceremony, scheduled to take place at 3pm. French Prime Minister François Fillon and several other ministers are also present.

A low-key work lunch is organised alongside the official ceremony for Merkel and Sarkozy to discuss the financial crisis and the economic situation in Europe, the day before a key summit between Eurogroup leaders. The two leaders hope to smooth out some of their diverging points on a coordinated response to the crisis.

Sarkozy, who holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, has been reaching out to many of his European counterparts during the crisis. On Friday, Sarkozy met with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero at the Elysée Palace.
 

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