Canada-EU Free Trade: Now's The Time For A Deal, Prime Minister Stephen Harper Says

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STEPHEN HARPER ANGELA MERKEL
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the official welcome of G8 leaders to the Muskoka 2010 G8 Summit at the Deerhurst Resort in, Huntsville, Ont June 25/2010. Economic concerns at home and abroad will dominate the agenda later this week when German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Canada to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Photo by Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail) | CP

TORONTO - Economic concerns at home and abroad will dominate the agenda later this week when German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Canada to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Merkel is under mounting pressure from coalition partners to take a hard line with crisis-wracked Greece to ensure it imposes the stiff economic reforms being demanded by its European Union creditors.

Harper says he's looking forward to getting an update on the discussions in Europe and also to talk about Canada's efforts to secure a trade agreement with the EU.

With the latest round of trade talks just concluded, he says the negotiations are proceeding in "a positive way."

Harper also says the provinces have also been working with the federal government to ensure their interests are well-served by any trade deals with Europe.

He says given the ongoing economic turmoil around the world, it's in the interests of both Canada and the EU to reach an agreement as soon as possible.

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