Europe Braces for Greek Exit
Hollande backs eurobonds at inconclusive summit
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2012 1:21 AM CDT
Updated May 24, 2012 1:51 AM CDT
Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti, left, shakes hands with French President Francois Hollande ahead of last night's summit.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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(Newser) – New kid on the European block François Hollande made an audacious debut at his first EU summit, but the crisis meeting ended without a clear solution to the eurozone's woes. The French president, backed by most EU leaders, supports issuing "eurobonds" to shore up troubled EU economies, but he met stiff opposition from Germany and a handful of other countries, reports the Wall Street Journal. The euro is now at a two-year low against the dollar, and European officials are stepping up plans for a possible Greek exit from the currency.

Ahead of the summit, Hollande's aides made it clear that the cozy relationship France and Germany had under his predecessor has changed, Reuters notes. Case in point: He met with Spain's PM before the summit; in the past, that meeting would have been with Germany. "He does not believe in a duopoly. He won't try to replace 'Merkozy' by 'Frangela' or 'Merkollande.' He wants their partnership to serve the rest of Europe," one aide told reporters. After the meeting, Hollande said that while Germany and other members remain against the bonds, "there wasn't a conflict and confrontation."

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