Link to my article which appears on CNS News today:
Dusseldorf, Germany (CNSNews.com) – As European leaders prepare to attend the G20 meeting in Washington later this week, they are stepping up pressure on President-elect Obama to support their plans on both international finance and climate change. The meeting is the first of a series of summits proposed by President Bush, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the president of the European Union’s executive Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, to address the global financial crisis.
The E.U. is planning sweeping reforms for the international financial system, involving a total overhaul of the 60-year old International Monetary Fund (IMF). The proposals include stricter regulation of hedge funds and cross-border financial institutions, a clampdown on tax havens, and a global “early warning” system. European governments have already pledged roughly two trillion euros ($2.5 trillion) in cash injections, bank deposit guarantees, interbank loan coverage and partial or full nationalizations in an attempt to minimize consumers’ concerns about the crisis.
Alongside these wide ranging proposals, officials say the E.U. remains committed to aggressive investment in measures to combat climate change, and – encouraged by Obama’s election – will be aiming to secure increased U.S. support. Saturday’s meeting aims to emulate the Bretton Woods conference in the latter stages of World War II, which established the IMF and the World Bank Group with the objective of preventing a repeat of the 1930s worldwide economic meltdown.
Expected participants include leaders of the Group of Eight leading industrialized countries – the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia – together with those of emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa, as well as Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Australia.