Hollande to meet Merkel ahead of EU summit: sources
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a meeting Thursday just ahead of the last EU leaders' summit of the year, official sources said.
Hollande and Merkel will meet at 1530 GMT, half an hour before a summit. It got a boost overnight after all 27 EU finance ministers agreed a new bank supervision accord, a key step towards preventing a repeat of the debt crisis, which has pushed the economy into recession.
The summit will take up European Council President Herman Van Rompuy's blueprint for increased economic and political integration so as to put the union on a sounder footing.
Some of the measures proposed, however, such as Brussels control over national budgets, are hugely controversial, and many member states are uncertain about giving up more power.
EU leaders will gather after the 17 eurozone finance ministers examine a Greek debt buy-back programme earlier Thursday, with a view to releasing urgently needed and long-delayed bailout funds for Athens.
© 2012 AFP