March 31, 2009

Sarkozy threatens Group of 20 walkout

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to walk out of the Group of 20 summit in London if the meeting produces no sustainable regulatory changes.

The G20 meeting of industrialized nations begins Thursday and to hold Sarkozy to his seat would require something better than false success with language that sounds good but contains no commitments, Sarkozy's advisers told The Times of London Tuesday.

Sarkozy, who has called for creation of an international financial regulator, said last week he would leave if it does not work out.

The rift threatens to disrupt a critical summit meeting in the middle of a global financial crisis. The United States, Britain, Germany and others are reportedly opposed to the idea of an international regulatory office, calling for more cooperation between each country's regulatory agencies.

The United States has also called for more fiscal spending, which European countries oppose.

Asked if the French president would actually leave the meeting, Sarkozy's deputy chief of staff for economic affairs Xavier Musca said, a basic rule with nuclear deterrence is that you do not say at what point you will use the weapon.