EU leaders meeting to find a common position on reforming the world economy say greater financial sector regulation is needed.
Hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the conference brought together Europe’s G20 countries. In Berlin, leaders agreed on forging a joint European approach ahead of a wider summit in April. Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Junker said: “The financial crisis is not over yet and the economic crisis is getting worse. So European action is required. We can only be effective if we coordinate action among ourselves.” The German Chancellor also said leaders had agreed to pursue stricter rules regarding hedge funds and other financial products. “We are making a commitment that all financial markets, products, and participants — including hedge funds and rating agencies and others — have to be subject to supervision and regulation,’‘ said Chancellor Angela Merkel. At the meeting some leaders voiced concerns over what they called protectionist policies. “We are totally in agreement that we have to coordinate our response. We shouldn’t yield to the temptation of protectionism,’‘ said Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The recent 6 billion euro bailout for France’s car industry has drawn particular criticism from some of Europe’s leaders for being overly protective. The G20 summit in April seeks to forge a new financial system to avoid a repeat of the problems that sparked the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.