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Hollande wants euro nations to drive exchange rate

French president Francois Hollande gestures during apress conference at the European Parliament Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, in Strasbourg, eastern France. Hollande warns of a tough European Union summit later this week if countries including Britain continue to demand drastic cuts to the EU budget while refusing to make concessions themselves. (AP Photo/Christian Lutz)

STRASBOURG, France (AP) -- French President Francois Hollande is calling on eurozone nations to help control the value of their shared currency.

The euro has been rising against other currencies in recent weeks, hurting exporters in the 17-country bloc. That's partly because central banks in the U.S. and Japan are pursuing monetary stimulus, which has the effect of weakening their currencies.

Hollande says Tuesday that governments "must look at the midterm for an exchange level that we consider the most realistic, the most compatible with our real economy."

The view contrasts with that of the European Central Bank, which maintains that the euro's value should be defined by markets. The ECB, which sets the eurozone's monetary policy independently of national governments, has its monthly meeting on Thursday.