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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, speaks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, center, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti during a round table meeting at an EU Summit in Brussels on Friday, March 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, speaks with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, center, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti during a round table meeting at an EU Summit in Brussels on Friday, March 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)  

Europe girds for Greek exit

BRUSSELS—European officials are stepping up contingency planning for a possible Greek exit from the euro zone, even as Europe’s leaders struggled to overcome differences on how to resolve the currency bloc’s crisis at a summit meeting here.

Emerging from Wednesday night’s informal European Union summit, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said most leaders had backed issuing common debt, or euro-zone bonds, to help support troubled members. But Germany and others opposed them and demanded Greece do more.

“We want Greece to remain in the euro zone,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after nearly eight hours of talks. “But the precondition is that Greece upholds the commitments it has made.”

Full story: Europe Girds for Greek Exit