Italy, France affirm euro support amid crisis

The Italian and French leaders are affirming their support for strengthening the eurozone, after a lunch meeting in Paris to discuss the continent

France's President Francois Hollande, left, and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, right, speak with Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti, center, before a working lunch at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Platiau/Pool)

PARIS (AP) — The Italian and French leaders are affirming their support for strengthening the eurozone, after a lunch meeting in Paris to discuss the continent's economic crisis.

Italian Premier Mario Monti says European leaders cannot "allow their attention to wander for even a minute" away from the currency union, where the number of unemployed was reported Tuesday at a record high.

French President Francois Hollande, standing at Monti's side, said there was significant progress toward strengthening the eurozone in recent weeks — a sign that the 17 countries that use the euro continue to want "a currency capable of giving Europe a coherent plan."

Economies across the region face deepening recessions, especially in Spain and Italy, where financial collapse could tear the 13-year old currency union apart and radiate through the global economy.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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