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European agreement with Greece could be hours away, Hollande

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Reuters

French President François Hollande said an agreement betweeen the European Union and Greece could be just hours away on Wednesday ahead of a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.


"We are a few days, I don't want to say a few hours, away from a possible settlement," Hollande said in a speech at the Paris-based Organisation of Economic Cooperation and

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Development (OECD) on Wednesday afternoon.

"To demand too much from Greece will prevent the return of growth," he said. "But asking for nothing or not enough would have consequences for the whole eurozone", which must "find the conditions for stability".

But the Tsipras/Juncker meeting is "a first discussion" and will not result in an agreement between Athens and its creditors, a European Commission spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Sources say that the lenders want Greece to have a surplus of one per cent this year, rising to 3.5 per cent in 2018.

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