Eurozone Live Blog
Merkel stands firm in Greek election countdown
Germany's Angela Merkel firmly warned against half-baked responses to Europe's crisis on Friday as France sought to dispel any idea that moves were afoot to isolate her days before a fateful Greek vote.
Lamenting a "lack of confidence" among eurozone leaders, Merkel said the debt crisis could only be addressed by tackling its root causes but said Germany was unconvinced by quick fixes.
She warned the danger of hasty proposals such as eurobonds - pooling debt in Europe - or introducing a fund for bank deposit guarantees only papered over the divergences between countries.
"Whoever masks that, ends up in mediocrity. Mediocrity must not become the standard," Merkel warned to applause, addressing members of Germany's federation of family-run businesses.
With the threat of a Greek euro exit hanging over Sunday's poll and global leaders heading to Mexico for a G20 summit from Monday, Merkel faces pressure for Europe's de facto paymaster to forge a solution to the more than two-year crisis.
But she is also under fire over her unwavering stance on strict budget consolidation as the way to tackle the turmoil, especially since Berlin's key EU ally, France, has pushed for a growth-led strategy under its new president.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault however seemed at pains Friday to cool any perception of a ganging-up against Merkel, telling Europe 1 radio that this was "absolutely not" the case. [AFP]