EU president denies plans to 'prune' eurozone

EU president denies plans to 'prune' eurozone

"Let us be clear: we will not 'prune' the Eurozone to a more selective club," Van Rompuy said during a visit to Italy.

"That would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the European political pact."

"I will personally do my utmost to keep the 17 and the 27 together," he added, referring to the 27 members of the European Union and the 17 eurozone currency countries.

"My reasoning here is simple. It is normal that those who share a common currency must take some common decisions relating to that currency," he said.

Reports earlier said that Germany and France had discussed a possible breakup of the eurozone in the face of the debt crisis roiling global markets, though Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that Germany favoured cohesion.

Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said last week that Greece could leave the euro if it failed to abide by the terms of its latest bailout deal.

Sarkozy had also spoken Tuesday of a future "two-speed Europe" anchored in a "federal" eurozone, sparking concern of political exclusion among EU members not using the common currency.