» Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Meeting with Merkel, Barroso, Sarkozy and Prodi

Asked what the Prime Minister would be saying at the meeting this evening, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that there would be no great surprises in terms of what the Prime Minister would say in relation to what had already been said. The meeting was taking place at a time of economic instability in the global economy and that instability had originated in the United States. The fundamentals of the economies of Britain and the rest of Europe remained sound but of course we had to be vigilant to the risks. Therefore, at this afternoon’s meeting they would be discussing how, within Europe and with the other major economies, we could cooperate to help promote stability in financial markets and the world economy. They would also discuss measures to, for example, enhance the role of credit rating agencies; better inform markets; promote transparency of banks on balance sheet liabilities; improve cross-border cooperation in relation to financial crises; regulate liquidity risk, through the international standards. The PMS went on to say that it was a fairly informal meeting so discussion may range wider than that.

Asked if there would be detailed outlines of specific proposals this evening or if it was likely to be a general discussion, the PMS said that it was for finance Ministers to take forward the lead on this. Leaders this afternoon would be discussing and outlining the areas where further discussion and work needed to be taken forward by Finance Ministers, or whoever the relevant supervisors/authorities were. There was a meeting of Finance Ministers from European members of the G8 about 10 days ago and there would be a full meeting of G8 Finance Ministers next month.

Asked if there was anything the Prime Minister would want to talk about on a wider basis, the PMS replied that one issue likely to come up, as it was relevant, was the subject of reform of the global institutions; part of the discussion about the economy and the financial sector was about, for example, the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the early warning watchdog. However, the main focus of the meeting was on economic and financial matters.

Asked about the Prime Minister’s proposals in relation to reform of the IMF, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister set out his proposals regarding this in his speech in India where he said there was a case for strengthening, and making more independent, the surveillance function of the IMF so as it could act as a more effective early warning system for the world economy.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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