* Merkel says she, Sarkozy agree to bolster cooperation
* To prepare for upcoming summits jointly
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By Brian Rohan
BERLIN, May 20 (Reuters) - Germany and France have agreed to coordinate efforts to support the euro zone and the single currency and prepare for upcoming summits together, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said through a spokesman on Thursday.
The move to bolster cooperation between the European Union’s two economic and political heavyweights follows Berlin’s unilateral decision on Tuesday to ban some types of speculative stocks and bond trading, which had underlined differences with Paris. [ID:nSGE64I073]
“They have agreed that Germany and France will coordinate closely with each other at the meeting beginning on May 21 in Brussels,” government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said in a statement, adding that Merkel spoke with French President Nicolas Sarkozy by telephone on Thursday.
Public disagreements between Paris and Berlin over how to handle Greece’s debt crisis along with the German ban have sapped confidence in the euro and sent investors fleeing European stocks and bonds to safer havens.
European Union finance ministers will discuss Germany’s short-selling ban and coordination of such market-moving decisions at Friday’s meeting in a special Task Force under EU President Herman Van Rompuy.
The German statement said Berlin and Paris will also prepare together for upcoming international summits, where leaders will discuss Europe’s debt problems as well as the global economic recovery.
“They have agreed to prepare jointly for the European Council meeting on June 17, especially on the matter of European growth strategy, and the G8 and G20 summit in Canada at the end of June,” the statement said.
Sarkozy will come to Berlin on June 7 for further discussions on coordination, it added.
Reporting by Brian Rohan; editing by John Stonestreet