German Chancellor Angela Merkel has cranked up calls for tougher regulation on banks and financial markets and has appealed to governments to act together to send a message of strength by tightening financial rules.
Speaking in Berlin she said:
“Will Germany and the whole euro zone ever be able to act in a way that can guarantee sustainable growth without the necessity to pay for the growth by high debt.”
Her comments were backed by the German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble:
“The main problem is that the financial markets with their innovative products and the enormous effect on debt, with tools like credit insurances or naked short selling they are able to exaggerate the market swings.”
The tough talking sets the stage for a bun fight at the G20 in Toronto in June with Merkel looking for agreement on regulatory reform.
French analyst Natalie Pelras takes a different view:
“For the moment we’re not yet at the stage where the fear of intervention by states lowers the markets, it is the fear of the economic situation of those states which hurts the market.”
The economic task force set up by EU President Herman van Rompuy is due to meet in Brussels on Friday.