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French President Hollande calls for 'stronger organisation' behind euro

French President Francois Hollande with Jacques Delors, the former head of the European Commission and one of the architects of the euro
French President Francois Hollande with Jacques Delors, the former head of the European Commission and one of the architects of the euro AFP

It is time to overhaul the euro’s governance, French President Francois Hollande said in comments published Sunday, saying France favours a “stronger organisation” behind the 19-country currency.

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"The European spirit prevailed" in addressing the Greek crisis, he told the French weekly Journal du Dimanche. "But we cannot stand still."

Hollande stressed that a specific budget is needed, as well as “a parliament to ensure democratic control."

His remarks touch on what analysts have seen as a major flaw in the euro, with Greece notching up successive worsening deficits and amassing a mountain of debt - problems that were only addressed by bailouts from European institutions and the International Monetary Fund.

In 2011 Jacques Delors, the former head of the European Commission and one of the architects of the euro, said the crisis facing the currency required member states either to accept greater economic cooperation or a transfer of more national powers to the European Union's centre.

Hollande did not spell out proposals but said governance must be strengthened in efforts led by "a vanguard of countries".

Speaking from Avignon Sunday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said it was "France, Germany, Italy, the founding countries" of the EU which must be the "vanguard" described by Hollande.

"The voice of France is essential for Europe and France is, with this president, fully back on the European stage, therefore able to show its strength, its powers of persuasion for more solidarity, more responsibility at the European level," Valls said.

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