Juppe warns of 'disaster' if eurozone summit fails

20th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Wednesday warned the eurozone faced "disaster" if leaders failed to find a solution to the debt crisis at a summit in Brussels.

"We have an obligation to achieve a result... I am convinced that we will find a solution during the course of tomorrow," he said at a joint news conference with his Spanish counterpart Trinidad Jimenez,

"We absolutely must find a solution in order to end international speculation and stabilise the eurozone... If this eurozone collapses it would be a disaster."

An emergency summit in Brussels on Thursday of leaders of eurozone countries is aimed at averting a default by Greece and preventing debt contagion to larger economies such as Italy and Spain.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were in late-night talks in Berlin Wednesday to break a deadlock on a new Greek bailout.

Asked whether any such deal was near, Juppe said "if we were at the end of the talks, we would have a victory statement... I think that this statement will come tomorrow because I am confident about the sense of responsibility of the heads of state or government."

Berlin has been at odds with the ECB and Paris over Merkel's demands for private investors to shoulder some of the bill for what will be the eurozone's fourth bailout.

But Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said: "There is confidence on both sides that such a common line can be worked out this evening," and the chancellor was "very confident" Thursday's summit would produce a "good result".

© 2011 AFP

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