Eurozone leaders to hold talks with Greek PM: diplomats

23rd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Leading eurozone figures, including the French and German leaders, will meet the Greek prime minister ahead of an EU summit on the bloc's debt crisis in Brussels on Thursday, diplomats said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will be joined by European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet, the diplomats said.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Trichet, head of the group of eurozone finance ministers, will take part in the talks along with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and EU president Herman Van Rompuy.

"This meeting is being organised at the request of the German chancellor," one diplomat said.

The pre-summit meeting will be held as EU leaders come under US pressure to contain a debt crisis that has sparked fears of contagion to other eurozone countries and a spillover on global financial markets.

A senior European diplomat said EU heads of state and government are expected to adopt a declaration on Greece and the eurozone during the summit.

The text will likely reiterate calls made by eurozone finance ministers on Monday for the Greek parliament to adopt a new set of tough austerity measures next week before it receives 12 billion euros in blocked loans.

The International Monetary Fund has told Greece it must adopt measures to cut spending and raise taxes as well as sell 50 billion euros in public property in exchange for the next loan installment due in July.

The money, part of a 110 billion euro bailout granted by the EU and IMF last year, is vital to keep Greece from defaulting on its huge public debt.

© 2011 AFP

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