Sarkozy calls for ‘moralization of capitalism’

January 8th, 2009 - 11:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, Jan 8 (DPA) French President Nicolas Sarkozy Thursday opened an economic symposium in Paris by calling for the “moralization” of the capitalist system.”We must work, not for the destruction of capitalism - which would be a catastrophe - but for its moralization,” Sarkozy said at the opening of the symposium New World, New Capitalism, which he established as a response to the economic crisis.

“Either we re-found capitalism or we destroy it,” Sarkozy said as he called for an economic system based on the value of work rather than finance.

“Purely financial capitalism has perverted the logic of capitalism,” the French president said. “Financial capitalism is a system of irresponsibility and… is amoral. It is a system where the logic of the market excuses everything.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also addressed the conference, and called for the establishment of a “charter for a long-term reasonable economy” similar to the United Nations Charter.

“Our response (to the economic crisis) must be more than a few rules,” Merkel said. “The crisis is an opportunity to create an international architecture of institutions.”

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is one of the co-sponsors of the symposium, with Sarkozy, told participants that investment patterns must be changed.

“We must invest in the future,” Blair said, and called for funds to be put into renewable energy, science, innovation and education.

The symposium was downgraded from a summit because only a few world leaders chose to attend it. In addition to Sarkozy and Merkel, only Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was present Thursday.

Other participants at the two-day conference include Economics Nobel Prize winners Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz, World Trade Organization head Pascal Lamy and the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet.

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