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The French and Italian heads of state have met in Paris, a few days ahead of the next round of EU budget talks in Brussels on Thursday.

The 27-nation bloc failed to agree on its one trillion euro budget at the last meeting in November.

Hollande told reporters they would do everything to reach an agreement at the summit, but conditions are not yet right.

“I hope we are able to reach agreement next week,” said Monti,“while trying to respect the package which we had difficulties negotiating in November.”

Monti wants a reform of the EU system of rebates, while Hollande is concerned about the recent strengthening of the euro.

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