February 22, 2009

EU leaders call for deep financial reforms

European Union leaders say international financial regulatory mechanisms must be greatly strengthened to avoid future economic meltdowns.

Meeting Sunday in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the other EU leaders gathered to coordinate Europe's position on financial market reform and tackle the deepening recession ahead of an April Group of 20 summit in London, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

The leaders said they agreed greater financial market transparency and accountability was sorely needed, and that no market, product or market participant -- including international rating agencies and hedge funds -- remains outside the regulatory net.

The EU leaders also called for doubling state funds for the International Monetary Fund and to use it as an early warning mechanism to face up to financial firestorms in the future, the broadcaster said.

The violence of the crisis, its depth, call for really profound changes, Sarkozy told reporters ahead of the meeting. We have to start capitalism again from scratch, make it more moral "¦ that is why I want to see a real response.