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French finance minister hopeful EU bank union deal clinched before year-end

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[December 09, 2013]  PARIS (Reuters)  France hopes a deal will be clinched on a European banking union before the end of 2013, the country's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Sunday.

In Berlin on Friday European finance ministers and senior EU officials met to try to forge a compromise on rules to wind down stricken banks, with time running out to reach a deal by a year-end deadline.

"I hope that on Tuesday evening, maybe in the night of Tuesday, we'll reach a deal and if we don't suceed then we will succeed the following week when we meet on December 18," Moscovici said ahead of next week's regular gathering of European finance ministers in Brussels.

Moscovici said Friday's meeting had been useful.

"Everyone moved a little," he said.

The sticking point is staunch opposition from Germany, and some of its northern European allies, to proposals that would give the European Commission new powers to wind down banks.

The European Union has said it wants to agree a deal on bank resolution, a key plank of its ambitious "banking union" project, by year-end. Failure to meet that goal could lead to significant delays in implementation because of looming European Parliament elections and changes in the makeup of the European Commission.

(Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey and Muriel Boselli; editing by Andrew Roche)

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