Finance ministers from the world’s 20 largest economies have called for measures to slow the rise of the euro and halt the slide of the dollar.
But at the end of the G20 summit in Berlin delegates stopped short of making concrete proposals to stablilise the American currency. German representative, Hans Eichel, identified fluctuating exchange rates and the US budget deficit as major concerns. But he said he was reassured that both US Treasury Secretary John Snow and President George Bush had recognised the need to tackle the deficit. He said the emphasis now would be on reducing it. Debt relief for Iraq was also on the agenda. The major economic powers agreed to write off billions of euros owed by the country. Russian negotiators were initially reluctant to sign up to the agreement but were later reported to have given their consent to the deal which will cancel 80 per cent of Iraq’s debt.