Top officials from the world’s major economic powers gather today to prepare April’s G20 summit, with France and Germany’s position already crystal clear.
At a joint news conference in Berlin, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel rejected US demands that they spend more to help break the global recession. Both insist next month’s meeting should focus instead on agreeing tighter financial regulations. Like other European leaders, Sarkozy wants to clamp down on tax havens, saying he believes details of where money has come from and where it is destined should be provided at the very least. As hard-up Western governments pile on the pressure, Andorra, on the French-Spanish border, says it will pass a law relaxing bank secrecy there. The tiny principality of Liechtenstein has agreed to similar moves by committing to international tax and data standards.