Kohl and Jospin in unity

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The Independent Online
Bonn (Reuters) - The German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, and the French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, tried yesterday to dispel speculation about differences in their approach to launching a stable single European currency on time.

"Germany and France stand unconditionally by the agreements already made and will do everything to fulfil the conditions for the introduction of the euro," said a German government statement released after the leaders held talks in Bonn.

A previous meeting of the two lin June, shortly after Mr Jospin's Socialist-led government took power, was cool. Mr Kohl is under pressure from a growing number of political rivals and allies to ensure that candidates for economic and monetary union (EMU) keep budget deficits under strict control, whereas Mr Jospin was elected on an anti-austerity job-creation ticket.

After the Bonn meeting, the statement said Mr Kohl and Mr jospin agreed that "the introduction of a stable euro according to the timetable in the Maastricht Treaty and with strict adherence to the stability criteria is indispensable for the future of Europe".