EU leaders seek tighter hold on financial crisis

EU leaders seek tighter hold on financial crisis

Brussels: EU heads of state will try to step up their attack on the global financial crisis at a summit from Wednesday, as leaders of the continent’s largest economies acknowledged that tough times lay ahead.

Buoyed by the positive reaction of markets emergency talks in Paris last Sunday, leaders from the 15 countries sharing the euro agreed to follow Brown’s lead and prop up the hardest-hit banks through cash injections and underwriting loans between financial players.

Until the Paris talks, Europe had struggled to convincingly coordinate its response to the financial crisis, which only sapped confidence in the system all the more.

“Europe is leading the global response. We must continue to do so," European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso told journalists alongside Brown.

“An urgent priority is to further deepen coordination at international level and specifically with the US," said Barroso, who is due to hold weekend talks near Washington with US President George W. Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Brown said that it was time for a complete overhaul of global financial regulations and institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, as the world’s economy was now far more interdependent than ever before.

“It becomes obvious now that we are dealing with global financial markets... what we do not have is anything other than national or regional supervision."

Speaking before the release of official figures showing unemployment jumped to an eight-year high of 5.7% in the three months to August, Brown indicated that his government may have to refocus its employment programmes.

“We will come forward with programmes that are necessary to make sure that there are jo that does not disappear because of the financial crisis."

Last year the European Union adopted the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2020 from 1990 levels.

Included in that package was an engagement to bring renewable energy sources up to 20% of the total and to make 20% energy savings.

On Thursday, leaders are due to endorse sweeping new guidelines to manage immigration with a greater focus on selecting migrants for their labour skills while cracking down on illegal immigrants.