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Macron calls for Greek debt relief as eurozone ministers, IMF meet

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Reuters/Alkis Konstantindis

French President Emmanuel Macron has told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that he wanted to see a deal to reduce Athens's debt burden as eurozone finance ministers met IMF officials met in Brussels to discuss a new aid package for the crisis-hit country.

Macron would like to see an agreement on the long-term relief of Greece's debt burden soon, he told Tsipras during a telephone call on Monday.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire would be proposing this "roadmap" in Brussels, officials said.

The eurozone ministers have to find a balance between the position of the IMF, which wants a detailed timetable, and Germany, which is not keen on a specific agreement.

Le Maire and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble agreed on the need for eurozone integration to be speeded up, as Macron advocated in his election campaign and in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after his presidential win, they said at a meeting in Brussels on Monday morning.

Le Maire also said that British withdrawal from the European Union was an opportunity for the EU's finance sector.