'Unknown territory' for Europe if summit fails: France
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has told ruling party lawmakers that failure at Wednesday's eurozone summit could "tip the European continent into unknown territory," sources at the meeting said.
"We are living in crucial times. If the summit is a failure, this could tip the European continent into unknown territory," the sources from the ruling UMP party quoted the prime minister as saying during the meeting.
"Pressure does not stop growing on the eurozone and the whole of the global economy," the sources quoted him as saying. "It is undeniable that the forecasts for global economic growth are undergoing brutal falls."
"If the results of the European summit are positive, the pessimism (on growth rates) will abate," he said.
"An agreement must be found with Germany," he said. He also denounced press reports that Paris was following Berlin's lead in dealing with the eurozone crisis, saying: "I remind you that the initiatives (to deal with the crisis) are French."
His remarks, which were confirmed by sources in Fillon's office, came as Europe's leaders scrambled Tuesday to convince banks to take massive losses on Greece's debt, and shield Italy from falling victim to the crisis, on the eve of a decisive summit.
Little more than 24 hours before EU leaders gathered for their second summit in three days, calls came from afar in Japan and Australia for Europe to seal a lasting defence against its debt crisis as markets slid in cautious trade ahead of the crunch talks.
© 2011 AFP