Big four to meet for pre-summit talks


The finance ministers of Germany, France, Italy and Spain will meet in Paris for talks on this evening, ahead of a crucial European Union summit at the end of the week, French finance minister Pierre Moscovici said.

"We want to work with Germany," Mr Moscovici told France Info radio, when asked about the pressure on President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to reach an agreement on ways to curb the spiralling euro zone crisis.

“Tomorrow there is a meeting, which will be very important, between Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel and this evening I will receive the finance ministers: Mr Schaeuble from Germany, Mr Monti or Mr Grilli of Italy and Mr de Guindos of Spain along with the European Commissioner," Mr Moscovici said.

"We are in an active phase of preparation of this summit."

Mr Hollande wants measures like mutualised debt and joint bank deposit guarantees to be worked on at the same time as moves towards deeper fiscal integration, while Dr Merkel wants an accord on closer integration before any other steps are taken.