The leaders of France and Germany have shown a united front on tackling the world financial crisis after a joint ministerial meeting in Berlin. Looking ahead to the summit of the Group of 20 nations scheduled for April in London, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel said that the focus should not be on spending more, but on agreeing tighter regulations.
The pair also stressed the need for sending a clear signal in favour of bringing world trade talks to an agreement. Angela Merkel said: “Our positions are absolutely identical, that is to bring about Washington’s action plan, to introduce regulation and transparency in financial markets, to reinforce international institutions and do all we can to make sure a crisis like this never happens again.” Nicolas Sarkozy added: “We want results in London. So, does everyone share our enthusiasm and desire? We hope so. But if that is not the case, we have decided that Germany and France will speak with one voice which will be heard with equal force.” The leaders stressed their belief that the G20 meeting needs to follow-up on pledges made at a European summit in Berlin last month. At that meeting, countries promised to press for tighter regulation of hedge funds, and to clamp down on tax havens.