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Sarkozy, Merkel to meet Monday on Europe proposals
Sarkozy says he, Merkel to meet Monday to make proposals to 'guarantee the future of Europe'
By The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) ' French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he and the German chancellor will meet in Paris on Monday to unveil proposals that he said will "guarantee the future of Europe."

Sarkozy, who was speaking in Toulon in southern France on Thursday, did not specify what he and Angela Merkel might propose to help alleviate Europe's financial crisis.

The two countries are the powerhouses of the European economy.



THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PARIS (AP) ' France successfully raised euro4.346 billion ($5.83 billion) in its latest sale of long-term bonds as strong demand from investors saw the country's borrowing rates fall.

France's treasury said in a statement Thursday that its offer of new 10-year and 15-year bonds was oversubscribed by investors by more than three times.

The interest rate that France had to offer to sell the bonds also fell, to 3.18 percent on the 10-year bonds and to 3.65 percent on the 15-year. In last month's sale of similar bonds, France paid 3.22 percent and 3.77 percent.

The bond sale came a day after the world's leading central banks launched a coordinated drive to provide more liquidity for the global financial system amid fears about the future of the eurozone.

France is one of six eurozone countries still given an AAA by credit rating agencies ' the highest evaluation of its creditworthiness. But in October, Moody's said it is reviewing the country's outlook ' the part of the rating that indicates where the agency thinks the country is going. For now, that outlook is stable, but that could change. If it does, that could also send borrowing costs up, even if the rating itself stays at AAA.

In addition to the 10- and 15-year bonds, France also sold Thursday euro0.6 billion of bonds maturing in October, 2017, and euro1.08 billion in bonds maturing in April, 2041.


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