Merkel, Sarkozy, Lagarde meet banking lobby on Greek debt

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Leaders of France and Germany joined IMF chief Christine Lagarde to discuss a Greek debt write-down by banks with the Institute of International Finance chief, diplomatic sources said Thursday.

Officials from the troubled eurozone have been negotiating the size of a "haircut", or write-down, to be taken by banks holding some 210 billion euros of Greek debt.

IIF head Charles Dallara, who was meeting President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of a summit of the 17-nation euro area, earlier said in a statement that there was no deal, including any new write-down.

"There has been no agreement on any Greek deal or a specific 'haircut,'" Dallara said in a statement.

"We remain open to a dialogue in search of a voluntary agreement. There is no agreement on any element of a deal," he added.

The French and German leaders, who earlier said they were ready to talk to the banks in person to save the day, broke off from the summit talks to negotiate with Dallara.

© 2011 AFP

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