June 8, 2015 / 1:47 PM / 2 years ago

France's Hollande - must go faster than end-June for Greek deal

KRUEN, Germany (Reuters) - Greece and its international lenders must speed up talks to reach a deal before an end-June deadline to avoid doubts and speculation about Greece's future in the euro zone, French President Francois Hollande said after a G7 meeting.

"There is an end-June deadline," Hollande told a news conference, referring to the end of a bailout programme for Greece and repayment deadlines to the IMF.

"This is the latest possible deadline but nothing stops us from going faster and I think it is in Greece's interest to go faster to avoid doubts or speculation. If we want - and all of us, Greeks and Europeans, have said we do - Greece to stay in the euro zone, we must go towards a solution in a timeframe that is not (as late as) the end of the month."

"In order to make progress we must quickly have, in the coming hours or days, technical talks to narrow positions and to replace the proposals Greece cannot accept with alternative measures," Hollande said.

Those technical discussions must make enough progress by the time EU leaders go to Brussels next Wednesday for an EU-Latin America summit to allow for a "clarification," he said, adding he had no doubt there would be talks on Greece in the margins of that summit.

Writing by Ingrid Melander in Paris; Editing by Andrew Callus

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