Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

  • Israel announces four-hour truce after deadly strike on UN school

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Scores trapped as landslide hits Indian village

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

Europe

Sarkozy, Merkel prepare ground for G20 summit

Video by Christopher MOORE

Latest update : 2009-03-13

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced after talks in Berlin that they had agreed on sanctioning tax havens and called for an April 2 G20 meeting to focus on creating tighter fiscal regulations.

Reuters - The leaders of France and Germany rejected on Thursday U.S. demands that they spend more to help break a global recession and said a G20 meeting in London should focus on agreeing tighter regulations.

 

In a joint statement, the two countries called for hedge funds to be regulated, a sanctions mechanism to be drawn up to target tax havens, and said they would work towards more transparent rules on remuneration.

 

The world's economic powers are under pressure to deliver on pledges made at a November G20 summit in Washington, where they unveiled the action plan for combating the global financial crisis and guarding against future meltdowns.

 

"The point is to implement the action plan from Washington," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a joint news conference in Berlin with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

 

"That means: regulation, introducing transparency on to the financial markets, strengthening multilateral institutions," she said.

 

Stimulus programmes were important but could not substitute for the necessary regulation, she said.

 

The G20 summit next month is shaping up as a showdown between the United States, which wants fellow members of the club to spend more, and European nations which want to rein in the unbridled capitalism they blame for the current crisis.

 

"We consider that in Europe we have already invested a lot for the recovery, and that the problem is not about spending more, but putting in place a system of regulation so that the economic and financial catastrophe that the world is seeing does not reproduce itself," Sarkozy said.

 
Tighter regulation
 

Merkel, standing alongside Sarkozy, said Germany and France were united in their conviction that the April 2 G20 meeting in London needed to follow through on pledges made at a European summit in Berlin last month.

 

At that meeting, European countries said they would press for tighter regulation of hedge funds, a crackdown on tax havens and an increase in funds for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help countries hit by the crisis.

 

The French and German leaders said: "(France and Germany) underline today that all hedge funds and private pools of capital that could constitute a systemic risk, should be subject to appropriate regulation and supervision."

 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday he wanted the G20 to put in place a "substantial, sustained commitment to stimulus" to help lay the foundations of a global economic recovery.

 

British finance secretary Alistair Darling sounded the same note, saying the two saw "eye-to-eye" on spending policy.

 

But Merkel said on Thursday she assumed Britain was not at odds with its European partners on the issue.

 

"Gordon Brown was in Berlin, so I am very optimistic that the European position is unchanged from the Berlin meeting," she said.

 

Asked whether Europe was united on the matter she added: "That is the reason we spoke with one voice here today."

 

In their statement, France and Germany also promised to refrain from protectionist measures and push for a strong signal from the G20 on aiming for a breakthrough in the Doha round of trade talks in the coming months.

 

 

Date created : 2009-03-12

COMMENT(S)