BRUSSELS (AFP) - European leaders moved on Thursday towards calling in the IMF to conquer Greeces debt crisis after overcoming their divisions hours before from a summit overshadowed by a sliding euro currency. A mixture of International Monetary Fund funding and bilateral loans from eurozone partners looks the likeliest outcome, after Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to abuse the trust of the German people, a large majority of whom were opposed to granting direct aid. The positions of two leading eurozone figures the European Unions current rotating presidency and the formal head of the grouping of finance ministers from the 16 nations that share the currency changed abruptly on Thursday. On arrival Thursday for the two-day summit, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero first called for a European solution to the blocs burning issue, but later said IMF loans would be acceptable and that he was confident a deal could be struck. Then Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker said he thought, despite having personally been opposed to going cap in hand to the Washington-based lender of last resort, that a rescue package will be assured both by the IMF and bilateral loans, Juncker said it was not ruled out that there could be a meeting of the eurozone leaders after dinner, at which an agreement could be thrashed out. Greeces 300-billion-euro (407-billion-dollar) debt black hole largely lies behind the euro currency slumping to a 10-month low against the dollar, although a credit-rating downgrade for Portugal, similar to that which triggered the current crisis, has increased urgency to act. The aim of assistance, according to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, should be to ensure we strengthen the eurozone, we strengthen the euro and we stabilise the euro currency. Merkel, who is to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy later Thursday, had said she would agree to IMF aid to Greece backed up by bilateral loans from eurozone members as a last resort. The euro is more stable today than the mark ever was, she said. As German chancellor, I am aware of my extraordinarily great responsibility at this time because the German people, trusting a stable euro, gave up the mark at that time. That trust... must under no circumstances be disappointed. The European Central Bank and others had consistently argued that going to the IMF would be a sign of weakness. Merkel has been compared in her country to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher for her unwavering stance in the face of rising Greek anger over what it perceived as a lack of European solidarity. Athens has accused German banks of profiteering from inflated interest rates on Greek government bonds, and German industry the worlds second-biggest export economy of cashing in on Greeces woes by selling goods more cheaply abroad. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has also taken aim at Germany over competitive disparities within Europe, alluding to the German export boost that is not shared by euro peers. The IMF has never been involved in planning a financial rescue for a eurozone member state although it has helped EU countries such as Hungary, in joint efforts with Brussels and other institutions. On top of its huge debt, Athens has also had to slash a huge public deficit more than four times the permissible EU limit, triggering strikes and violent protests. Greece wants help to restore investor confidence and lower the rates it must pay to raise money on financial markets. Tens of billions of euros are required to repay maturing debt over the next couple of months. It currently pays above six percent, more than double what Germany pays. Germany wants to see automatic sanctions triggered whenever spending in a eurozone member becomes too wayward but the scope of such penalties remains under dispute. In extreme circumstances, Merkel has said that she wants the eurozone to be able to expel members who fail to balance the books. On a more practical level, they could lose voting rights at European meetings and face fines, according to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.