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Germany, France Favor Private Role In Greek Bailout

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrive to address a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin on June 17.
Germany and France have suggested that private investors should share a part of the burden of the next round of financial help for Greece on a voluntary basis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking at a news conference in Berlin, said Greece needed urgent help in order to ensure the stability of the euro.

Both leaders said that a "voluntary" participation of private creditors would be welcome.

However, they said such a move would have to be coordinated with the European Central Bank.

Earlier in the day, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou replaced his finance minister in a broad cabinet reshuffle.

Outgoing Defense Minister Evangelos Venizelos was appointed finance minister, replacing George Papaconstantinou, who moves to the environment ministry.

The reshuffle is meant to counter widespread discontent over tough new austerity measures essential to prevent Greece from a disastrous default.

compiled from agency reports