Monti hosts Hollande for eurozone talks in Rome

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Monti hosts Hollande for eurozone talks in Rome

by AFP Videos 1:07 mins

Monti hosts Hollande for eurozone talks in Rome

by AFP Videos 1:07 mins

SHOTLIST:ROME, SEPTEMBER 4, 2012. SOURCE: TMNEWSNO RESALE FOR NON-EDITORIAL PURPOSES-VAR arrival of Francois Hollande by car-VAR Francois Hollande and Mario Monti inspecting military-VAR handshake between Hollande and Monti///--------------------------------------------------------------AFP TEXT STORY:Finance-public-debt-Italy-France,lead Monti to host Hollande for eurozone talks in Rome ATTENTION - ADDS details, background /// ROME, Sept 4, 2012 (AFP) - Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti hosts French President Francois Hollande Tuesday in the latest round of shuttle diplomacy talks over the debt crisis ahead of a European Central Bank policy meeting. Hollande and Monti will "restate their will to be actively involved in the implementation of the measures adopted" at the European summit in June to preserve "the integrity of the eurozone," French government sources said. The meeting, one of several this week between European leaders, comes amid expectations that the ECB might on Thursday announce a new round of sovereign bond purchases to ease borrowing costs for struggling countries. The decision is hotly awaited not only by economies desperate to push down their borrowing costs, such as Italy, Spain and Portugal, but also economic watchers and investors nervous about what is coming up over the course of the month. While sources said Monti and Hollande were unlikely publicly to comment on ECB intervention at the press conference at 1330 GMT, their talks would focus on how to handle the latest developments in the eurozone economic crisis. With Spain's plight once again at the forefront of the three-year crisis and Greek leaders scrambling to unlock crucial loans, the pressure might rise again on Italy to reassure investors that it will not become the next victim. Nervousness also increased following Moody's decision Monday to lower the European Union's long-term issuer rating outlook from stable to negative. Hollande and Monti are likely to discuss a German Constitutional Court ruling due on September 12, on legal challenges to the eurozone's future rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The challenges have held up the fund's ratification, along with a fiscal pact for tighter budgetary rigour. They could also talk about a plan to reinforce the economic and monetary union by putting a banking supervision plan into place by the end of 2012. According to Rome sources close to the issue, they will also be preparing for a European summit to be held in mid-December, with the aim of making the governance of the euro "more solid and convincing." Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was set to meet UE President Herman Van Rompuy in Berlin Tuesday and Greek finance minister Yannis Stournaras was expected to present Greece's budget cuts plans to German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble. The quick-stop diplomacy will then continue with a meeting between Hollande and Van Rompuy in Paris on Wednesday, before the French president heads to talks with Britain's David Cameron on Thursday. ha-fka/ide/hmn

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