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EU: Germany and France Fail To Agree On Monetary Union

Poitiers, France; 13 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Top French and German leaders ended their meetings in France today without reaching agreement on a stability pact to pave the way for a single EU currency.

But French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl later said both sides intend to continue their dialogue and hope to reach agreement by the end of next week's EU summit in Amsterdam.

Kohl and Chirac have long backed the introduction of a single currency for the EU in 1999. But France's newly-elected Socialist Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, has called for balancing the stability pact's planned austerity measures with efforts to promote job growth.

Jospin attended today's talks, as did both countries' finance ministers.

Kohl acknowledged the high level of unemployment in both Germany and France, but said he remains convinced that monetary union must go ahead as planned "on the conditions agreed."