Euro-area leaders assembled in Frankfurt seeking to narrow divisions four days before a summit to solve the sovereign debt crisis.

A Franco-German split on the role of the European Central Bank in leveraging the euro bailout fund emerged at an event in Frankfurt today to mark the conclusion of Jean-Claude Trichet's term as the ECB's president. The disagreements among policy makers came as banks lobbied against forced recapitalization and deeper writedowns on Greek debt.

While German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week sought to lower expectations that the crisis-fighting effort would climax at the Sunday summit in Brussels, Group of 20 finance chiefs last week set the meeting as a deadline for action. Failure risks a global economic slump, they said.

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