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France ‘convinced’ of euro crisis solution

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting
French Finance Minister Francois Baroin leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said he was "convinced" that European leaders would agree on a comprehensive deal to end the eurozone debt crisis at a summit on Wednesday.

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"I'm convinced of it," Baroin told Europe 1 radio on Monday. "If we said (there was) two thirds progress since Friday morning, we are realistic."

"We agreed on disbursing the last installment of the preceding Greek programme," he said referring to a European summit in Brussels this weekend.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

"We agreed on the level of recapitalisation for banks to face any shocks," he added noting that there remained "technical discussions" on the European rescue fund.

"We know where we are going, we know that we don't want Greece to default," Baroin said stressing that the crisis was "serious" and a "threat on a global scale."

European Union leaders hailed good progress after a first summit on Sunday aimed at overcoming a crisis that has threatened to pitch the world into a fresh recession.

However, presidents and prime ministers left Brussels with few concrete details, vowing to reveal all at a second gathering on Wednesday despite mounting international and market pressure.

Leaders are still examining ways to beef up the EU rescue fund beyond its current firepower of 440 billion euros without actually putting in more money.

Elsewhere in Europe:

  • Unions in Portugal have called a strike for 24 November.
  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were set to discuss the eurozone crisis by telephone Wednesday.
  • European stock markets rallied on Wednesday morning after reports that France and Germany will ass two trilline euros to the 440-billion-euro eurozone rescue fund.

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