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Merkel-Hollande meeting 'won't take decisions'

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17:53 CEST+02:00
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman on Monday sought to play down meetings this week with the leaders of France and Greece, saying that no "significant decisions" would be taken.

Merkel meets French President Francois Hollande on Thursday and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras a day later, with recession-wracked Greece's future in the eurozone hanging in the balance.

But spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular government news conference: "I can tell you what is not expected ... that strong positions will be laid out
or significant decisions taken. That will not happen."

Nevertheless, he said that the topic of Greece would be "at the centre" of the Franco-German talks, amid reports Samaras wants to discuss a two-year
extension to a deadline for major spending cuts and reforms.

"The basis for all decisions in the case of Greece is the report of the Troika," said Seibert, referring to a document expected in September by
international auditors on Greek reforms.

"The federal government's main thought is that we are doing what is best for the euro," insisted Seibert.

The Troika is made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund and the German government is not directly involved in drawing up the report.

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