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Italy PM Letta calls for banking union, end of austerity

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 2:09 PM

ROME (Reuters) - The next European Union summit meeting in December must allow the rapid launch of a banking union, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Wednesday.

Speaking after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande, Letta said some EU countries had been "too timid" over the issue and this had to be overcome.

"It is absolutely necessary the December European Council allows the launch of the banking union," Letta said at a news conference with Hollande.

Letta said France and Italy also agreed that the next term of the European parliament after elections in May should "leave austerity behind" and be a legislature of growth.

(Reporting by Gavin Jones)

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