France's Sarkozy arrives in Frankfurt for euro talks

19th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy Wednesday arrived in Frankfurt for talks with top European leaders in a last-ditch effort to forge a solution to the eurozone crisis before a crunch EU summit.

Sarkozy arrived for what Paris described as an "informal meeting" with, among others, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde.

The heads of the European Council and European Commission, Herman van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, were also set to attend the meeting, four days before EU leaders gather in Brussels for talks that could make or break the euro.

"No statement is planned at the end of this working meeting," which will also include the finance ministers of the two countries, said Sarkozy's office.

Sarkozy rushed from a brief visit to his heavily pregnant wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who was admitted to a maternity clinic in Paris earlier Wednesday.

The president refused to respond to journalists' questions as to whether she had, in fact, given birth.

The impromptu gathering marks the start of a marathon series of meetings, as eurozone politicians try to find answers to a debt and banking crisis that has threatened to tip Europe, and the world, into a new recession.

On Friday, eurozone finance ministers will meet in Brussels before being joined by their non-eurozone counterparts on Saturday.

Then foreign ministers will hold talks, also in Brussels, ahead of the EU summit that begins on Sunday.

© 2011 AFP

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