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Europe 'has unity' on stimulus plan, says Brown

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Video by Bénédicte PAVIOT

Latest update : 2008-12-08

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown denied there were disagreements with other European countries over how the response to the financial crisis should be handled after a European mini-summit.

AFP - The leaders of Britain, France and the European Union meet in London Monday for a mini-summit on the world financial crisis which will also involve around 50 leading businessmen and economists.
   
Prime Minister Gordon Brown will host President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso for the Global Europe meeting, which comes ahead of a European Council summit in Brussels on December 11 to 12.
   
Their hour-long talks, due to start at 1500 GMT, will focus on measures to revive the economy, a French presidential source said.
   
"It's a chance to evaluate the situation to see where we are in Europe," the source said.
   
The aim is to "give coherence" to different European rescue plans "so that a message of confidence can be put forward by the European Council on the 11 and 12" December, he added.
   
The leaders' meeting will be followed by hour-long talks with some 50 economists and business leaders including Lakshmi Mittal, boss of steelmaker ArcelorMittal, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and the CEO of French oil giant Total, Christophe de Margerie.
   
Brown's bailout plan for Britain's banks in October drew plaudits from around the world and his government announced an economic stimulus package worth 20 billion pounds (30 billion dollars, 23 billion euros) at the end of last month.
   
For his part, Sarkozy, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, last week unveiled a rescue plan to inject 26 billion euros into the economy in 2009.
   
The European Commission has also proposed a 200 billion euro stimulus package aimed at hauling eurozone economies out of recession.
   
A German government spokesman denied last week that Chancellor Angela Merkel was annoyed at not being invited to the London event after reports Brown and Sarkozy were distancing themselves from her over frustrations she was not doing enough to boost Europe's biggest economy.
   
"Because it is a bilateral meeting, we never expected that the chancellor would take part," said spokesman Thomas Steg.
   
The French presidential source added it was "completely natural" that different EU member states would have different bailout plans.
   
The G20 group of major and developing economies will meet in London in April to discuss the economic crisis and reforms to world financial institutions. Barack Obama, who will be US president by then, will be among those attending.

 

Date created : 2008-12-08

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