France’s Hollande says end to euro zone crisis ‘very near’

French President Francois Hollande says the end of the euro zone’s debt crisis is “very close,” but deep financial concerns remain for Greece and Spain in advance of a European Union summit.

Mr. Hollande told a group of European newspapers Wednesday that the continent’s leaders had laid the foundation at a June summit for a banking union in the 17-nation euro currency bloc and ended fears that the euro zone would dissolve.

But he said that “the best is not here yet” and that the continent’s leaders must adopt new spending and banking controls by the end of the year. EU leaders are meeting Thursday and Friday in the first of three summits they have scheduled over the next two months to work out details.

Two key euro zone issues loom over the Brussels summit.

Greece and its international lenders have yet to agree on terms of a new austerity spending plan the creditors are demanding before they will hand the Athens government another segment of its second bailout in two years. Greece says it needs the rescue to avoid running out of money next month.

In Madrid, Spanish government leaders are weighing whether to seek a bailout from their European neighbors, or possibly a line of credit for emergency spending needs. Spanish officials said this week they expect to make a decision in the coming weeks.


(French president Francois Hollande. Photo: test_pour_Kyro)