Hollande to meet Monti in Rome next week

AFP , Tuesday 5 Jun 2012

French President Francois Hollande will meet Italian PM ahead of the EU summit in Brussels to tackle eurozone-related issues

French President Francois Hollande stands on the steps of the Elysee Palace following a meeting in Paris June 1, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

French President Francois Hollande will meet Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Rome on June 14, Italy's government said Tuesday as Europe grapples with a spiralling debt crisis.

The visit will come ahead of a June 17 election in Greece that could force Athens out of the eurozone, and a four-way summit of France, Germany, Italy and Spain on June 22 that will also take place in Rome.

EU leaders are set to meet in Brussels for a crucial summit on June 28-29.

Hollande and Monti have both pushed for the European Union to agree more measures to boost economic growth as well as ease strict debt rules. France and Italy are respectively the second and third biggest economies in the 17-nation eurozone after Germany. Spain is the fourth largest.

Spain on Tuesday warned it was being virtually shut out of stormy credit markets but said that a bailout was technically impossible and unnecessary.The cost of international bailouts so far amount to 85 billion euros for Ireland, 78 billion euros for Portugal and 292 billion euros for Greece, leading to deep worries about what would be the price of a Spanish lifeline.

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