The European Union's top regulatory official said the bloc will consider banning "purely speculative" credit-default swaps as German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a crackdown on derivatives trading to prevent a rerun of the Greek financial crisis.

European Commission President Jose Barroso said Tuesday that the 27-nation region will "examine closely the relevance of banning purely speculative naked sales on credit-default swaps." Merkel, speaking before Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met President Obama in Washington on Tuesday, said the EU must take the lead in curbing derivatives.

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