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Europe

Mandelson talks up 'real consensus' among G20 leaders

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-04-01

On the eve of the G20 summit in London, Britain's secretary of state for business, Peter Mandelson, said in an interview with FRANCE 24 that G20 leaders have reached a "real consensus" over reforms to the financial system.

AFP - British business minister Peter Mandelson said Wednesday that G20 world leaders have a "real consensus" over new financial reforms on the eve of their key summit in London.

"There have got to be reforms, and I think there's a real consensus in the G20 for these changes to take place and that's the sort of convergence and agreement that I will predict we will see tomorrow at the summit," Mandelson told the France 24 television channel.

The former EU trade commissioner added that hopes had not faded of a G20 deal, despite a reported split between Europe and the United States about a coordinated economic stimulus.

"I don't think hopes have faded, on the contrary I think they've strengthened," Mandelson said.

"What we see around the world, from those who are participating in the G20, is a determination to do what it takes, as governments but also together to get global growth going again during the course of the coming year."

He said G20 nations were eager "to continue the actions that many have already started (and) secondly to bring essential reforms to the governance of the global economy".

The Group of 20 rich and emerging economies is keen to prevent banking institutions from making bad investment decisions like those which sparked the current global financial crisis, Mandelson argued.

"We can't afford to have our banks our financial and lending institutions making the sorts of mistakes they have made in the past and creating the sort of crisis again in the future that we're suffering from now. So there have got to be changes."

Mandelson also praised French President Nicolas Sarkozy for threatening to walk out of the G20 summit on Thursday unless there is a deal on tough new regulation of global finance and curbing offshore tax havens.

"I think it is political pressure, and I welcome it," Mandelson told France 24.

"President Sarkozy is ambitious in what he wants to see come out of the G20 summit. And so are we in the British government.

"We are all in favour of open markets and free trade... and we know that our banking system is the cornerstone of each of our economies and it has to be restored to health."

Date created : 2009-04-01

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