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Page last updated at 07:49 GMT, Thursday, 21 July 2011 08:49 UK

'You can see a real calamity facing us'

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have hammered out a common position on the euro debt crisis.

A statement by the French president's office said agreement had been reached after seven hours of talks in Berlin.

It comes ahead of a crunch meeting of eurozone leaders to resolve the Greek debt crisis and prevent further contagion to other eurozone economies.

The agreement will mean that "something that looks like a solution" will come out of the summit, according to economics editor Stephanie Flanders.

But any agreement would have political repercussions in Germany, according to Die Welt columnist Alan Posener, as many are coming to resent the money being spent on Mediterranean bail-outs.

While Germans feel they "did their homework" and made their economy sustainable, their hard-won fiscal stability is now being used to help countries who have been "basking in the sun and retiring at 55," he said.

But former chancellor Alistair Darling warned that "if [Germany] don't do anything, it's going to cost them a whole lot more".

The European leaders needed "not just a fix for Greece… but a proper plan" for the whole eurozone, he said, a plan that the negotiations were "just ignoring at the moment".

With uncertainty over US debt, and crisis in the eurozone, "you can see a real calamity facing us", he warned.


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