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Merkel: Europe in a 'serious' situation

On the eve of an EU summit that could determine the future of the Eurozone, French President Francois Hollande welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris. Hollande says both France and Germany want to deepen ties. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "We are conscious of the measures that we have to take for financial stability and we want, both of us, to deepen economic and monetary -- and soon political -- union to arrive at a point of integration and solidarity." Merkel says the economic situation in Europe is serious. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL SAYING: "The situation is serious and we have the obligation of building a strong and stable Europe for tomorrow. Significant progress has been made as far as the pact for growth is concerned. I hope that we shall be able to adopt it tomorrow. We will then have to consider the political future of European economic and monetary union. I have said, we need more Europe. We need a Europe that functions -- markets are expecting that -- and we need a Europe whose members help each other out. Thank you very much." Merkel finds herself in a dwindling minority in her approach to the EU crisis, backed only by the Netherlands and Finland, but she holds the euro zone's purse strings and therefore nearly all the cards. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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