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European Union leaders back blanket financial rules

European Union leaders back blanket financial rules
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First Published: Sun, Feb 22 2009. 11 04 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Feb 22 2009. 11 04 PM IST
Berlin: European leaders backed sweeping new regulations for financial markets and hedge funds at a summit on Sunday in Berlin, German officials reported, as politicians and nations scrambled to tame the global economic crisis.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted heads of state and finance ministers from Europe’s largest economies to try to establish a common European position on economic reforms before an April summit of the Group of Twenty (G-20) nations.
“No financial market, no financial market product, no financial market stakeholder can be without regulation, without oversight,” German government officials quoted an advance release of the summit’s statement as saying.
A final copy of the agreement would not be circulated on Sunday, in order to allow European Union members not present to view it first. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, as is policy.
Top officials from Britain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic came to Berlin for the one-day meeting.
A German position paper released ahead of the meeting proposed a system to improve transparency on global financial markets, rules governing executive pay and a stronger role for the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“We want to make sure that in the future there are no gaps in the world regarding financial products, market participants or instruments,” Merkel said on Saturday.
Germany also recommended an “immediate increase” in IMF resources and a reform of the agency’s lending practices “in order to strengthen their effectiveness at responding to crises”.
The G-20 came up with a 47-point agenda on how to handle the global financial crisis at a November meeting in Washington. The 2 April summit in London aims to build on that plan.
President Barack Obama and leaders from industrial nations and major developing countries such as China, Brazil and India, are scheduled to attend the London summit.
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First Published: Sun, Feb 22 2009. 11 04 PM IST