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EU prepares common stance for Washington summit

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EU prepares common stance for Washington summit


European Union leaders meeting in Brussels this morning are aiming to draw up a common European position to take to the Washington economic summit in eight days’ time.

Draft proposals include a greater supervisory role for the IMF, globally harmonized accounting standards and stricter regulation for financial bodies such as hedge funds.

Explaining the need for a common EU stance, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told Euronews: “We’re all in one market, and for those in the euro zone all in one single currency, so we are under an obligation to cooperate on our economic policies. Our economies are effectively all linked up and where we can strengthen our cooperation, that’s the path we want to take.”

Increasing fears over recession led the European Central Bank to trim interest rates by half of one percent yesterday.

The Bank of England went even further, slashing its rate by one and a half points to three percent, putting British banks under pressure to relieve their borrowers.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said: “I think it’s essential that our banks do pass on the benefit of lower rates to people and businesses. At this time people are feeling pressed with their mortgages. Businesses also need every help they can get.”

The dramatic rate cut by the Bank of England came as the IMF predicted that Britain will be the hardest hit of all global developed economies by recession next year.

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