Hollande calls for immediate action to boost EU growth

23rd May 2012, Comments 0 comments

French President Francois Hollande stressed the importance of immediate action to bolster output in the debt-stricken eurozone Wednesday, as he arrived for an EU summit dedicated to growth.

"I say that we have to act straightaway for growth ... otherwise there will still be doubt on the markets," Hollande told reporters on arrival at the summit, as European stocks and the euro fell on new concerns over the crisis.

Hollande also played down the prospect of a row over eurobonds -- jointly pooled eurozone debt -- that he sees as a possible solution to the debt crisis but has been steadfastly refused by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We haven't come here to have a confrontation, we should say to each other what we think," he said.

"Eurobonds will be part of the discussion. At the end of June, we will probably have a decision but for the moment, I think it is important that we can say what we think."

He said he was confident that he could shift the debate in Europe from the austerity-led strategy championed by Merkel to a renewed focus on growth driven by himself with the backing of several others, including Italy.

"Even leaders who do not have the same views as me are completely convinced that we need to put more energy into growth," said Hollande.

"We have no time to waste," he stressed.

© 2012 AFP

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