France Threatens G20 Walkout


31.03.2009 21:40 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ France will walk away from this week’s G20 summit
if its demands for stricter financial regulation are not met, the
finance minister said.

Christine Lagarde said that President Nicolas Sarkozy would not sign
any agreement if he felt "the deliverables are not there".

Strengthening financial regulation will be one of the key issues
at the G20. France wants a stronger global financial regulator
than the U.S. and the UK would like. If France were to leave the
summit, it would be a blow to both UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown
and U.S. President Barack Obama. Both men have spoken of their high
hopes for the meeting to stimulate international recovery.

"Leaders meeting in London must supply the oxygen of confidence to
today’s global economy and give people in all of our countries renewed
hope for the future," Mr Brown said.

Splits among other world leaders on how to tackle the economic
crisis have also begun to emerge in other areas. European countries,
in particular, are resisting calls to commit to spending more this
year and next.

President Sarkozy has previously spoken out against "Anglo-Saxon"
economies, as has the prime minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude

"This crisis started in the United States. The Anglo-Saxon world has
always refused to add the dose of regulation which financial markets,
the international financial system needed," Mr Juncker said last week.

The European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, denied that
there were any splits within the EU itself. "In the last European
summit we have agreed on a common position, a very ambitious position,"
he said. "I will be happy if I see all our partners with the same
level of ambition."

However, there have also been expressions of optimism.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reported to have said that chances
were high that agreements – for example, to regulate hedge funds –
would be reached.

And in spite of her walkout threat, Ms Lagarde was eager to stress that
the G20 leaders agree on a range of important issues. "I am absolutely
determined, and President Sarkozy has said it loud and clear, that we
actually eradicate non-cooperative centers and tax havens," she said,
BBC reports.

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