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European leaders could hold a special summit in early March to discuss the euro and to push for a comprehensive reform package

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European leaders could hold a special summit in early March to discuss the euro and to push for a comprehensive reform package in the euro zone, euro zone government sources said today. It was not clear whether the summit being considered would involve leaders of euro zone countries or the whole European Union, said the sources quoted by Reuters. Holding such an event could counter allegations of a lack of urgency among European leaders, who meet next Friday to talk about energy but are not currently scheduled to take decisions on measures to resolve the euro crisis until a summit in late March.

'We would be happy to have such a meeting because preparations on a comprehensive package are not going as rapidly as some would like, let's put it that way,' said one source.

'There is a sense that the momentum and urgency has decreased, partly because the market pressure appears to have diminished, even if that is not really the case,' added the source.

EU finance ministers agreed last week to take their time over beefing up the euro zone's rescue fund, in a go-slow approach championed by Germany which could test the patience of investors unsettled by the debt crisis. European Commissioner Jose Manuel Barroso warned earlier this week, ahead of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that there was a risk of 'procrastination'. This was seen as a reference to Germany's rejection of his proposals to boost the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann was quoted today as saying there was a need to inject more urgency into the decision about increasing the capacity of the EFSF.

Barroso is campaigning to give greater clout to the fund, whose effective lending capacity is estimated at just €250 billion despite a headline value of €440 billion because of the guarantee system required to secure a triple-A credit rating. Germany has repeatedly denied the need to boost the EFSF, though Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has acknowledged the need to raise its effective lending capacity, leading to some confusion about Germany's position. The German government would find it politically difficult to ask Germany's parliament - and its taxpayers - to fund yet more guarantees to bail out euro zone partners in a year of seven German state elections.

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