European leaders fly to meet and plan for economic future

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande attend a ceremony to celebrate 50 years of French and German reconciliation, on July 8, 2012 in Reims, France.

Stacey Vanek Smith: French President Francois Hollande travels to Berlin today to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  That comes a day after Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras  asked for more time to get Greece's fiscal house in order.  In fact, over the next few days,  Europe's skies will be full of dignitaries  crisscrossing the continent  trying to find a solution to the ongoing debt crisis.

Christopher Werth has more from London.


Christopher Werth: It's a dizzying itinerary: After Hollande flies back to Paris, Greek leader Samaras boards a plane for Berlin to meet German leader Angela Merkel on Friday. Then Samaras flies to France to meet Hollande.

All this shuttle diplomacy is part of what the French call la rentrée -- the time of year when Europeans return from a month on vacation.

Zsold Darvas of the think tank Bruegel says the summer lull has been frustrating.

Zsold Darvas: I mean if you send an email you hardly get a response. But now they are indeed coming back and business starts with full force.

And a full travel schedule. But why can’t European leaders just meet in one place?

Hugo Brady of the Centre for European Reform says these grand tours are what they like to do when there's major business at hand.

Hugo Brady: In fact it's quite difficult to have a deep conversation on pertinent issues in sort of essentially a boardroom in a big grey building in Brussels.

That said, don’t expect urgent action. No decision is expected on Greece's request for more time until October.

In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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