France calls for summit on global financial crisis

September 24th, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Sep 24 (DPA) France plans to call an emergency summit of the world’s leading economic powers before the end of the year to respond to the global financial crisis, French Europe Minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet said Wednesday.France, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, “wants to summon a meeting based on the Group of Eight (leading industrialized nations) before the end of the year, with one topic the regulation of financial markets,” Jouyet told the European Parliament.

“We need new, common rules on an international level for a better control of financial markets,” he said.

Jouyet’s comments came hours after French President Nicolas Sarkozy told the UN General Assembly that he wanted to summon an emergency summit to react to the crisis.

The call for a summit was backed by EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, who told the parliament that “internal EU action is not sufficient” to face the crisis currently shaking world financial markets.

The commission, which is the only supra-national body to be a permanent member of the G8, “stands ready” to support the proposed meeting, which EU leaders are set to debate at a summit on Oct 15, commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said.

Speaking at the UN’s headquarters in New York, Sarkozy said world leaders had a duty to “meet before the end of the year to reflect together on the lessons which should be drawn from the financial crisis”.

“Let us rebuild together a regulated form of capitalism where complete breakdowns in financial activity are not left to market operators alone to analyse … where banks do their job, which is to finance economic development, not to speculate,” he said.

While Sarkozy did not present details of his proposal, analysts said that any such summit would be likely to involve the G8 together with rising powers such as China, India, Brazil and Mexico - a view which Jouyet’s comments seem to confirm.

Since Japan currently holds the rotating presidency of the G8 and Italy is set to take it on in January, it is not yet clear whether Sarkozy intends to call the meeting within the G8 format or in his capacity as president of the EU or of France.

France is a member of the G8 together with fellow-EU members Britain, Germany and Italy, as well as Canada, Japan, Russia and the US.

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