Sarkozy breaks off holiday for emergency economy meet

PARIS, Aug 10, 2011 (AFP) - President Nicolas Sarkozy interrupted his holiday on the French Riviera Wednesday to hold an emergency meeting on the economy as the crisis in the eurozone continued.

The prime minister will also return from an Italy holiday to attend the 0800 GMT meeting to discuss "the economic and financial situation" with finance and budget ministers and the French central bank chief, Sarkozy's office said.

Sarkozy had been holidaying in the chic Cap Negre area of the Riviera in the holiday home of his pregnant supermodel-turned-pop star wife Carla Bruni.

He and other European leaders have come under fire for staying on their summer holidays as turmoil engulfed the financial markets.

The upheaval has eased somewhat since the European Central Bank began buying Spanish and Italian bonds this week but investor jitters continue on fears the US and eurozone debt crises would spark a new recession.

European stocks rallied in opening deals on Wednesday, driven by sharp gains in Asia and on Wall Street overnight after the US Federal Reserve said it would hold near-zero interest rates for two years.

The eurozone debt crisis threatens to last as leaders try to implement a July 21 summit agreement aimed at beefing up the currency's defences as many of the measures require parliamentary approval, a process that could drag on to the end of the year in some cases.

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