September 1, 2009

France, Germany, unite on reform plank

Leaders of Germany and France urged the Group of 20 nations to follow through on financial reforms to prevent a repeated financial crisis.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin to review reforms including limiting the size of banks and curtailing bonus checks that encourage risky investments.

Bonus payments are the thing that quite rightly drives a lot of people up the wall, Merkel said after the meeting, the Euobserver reported Tuesday.

Merkel also said no bank should become so large that a failure of the company would threaten a country's financial system. No bank may become so big that it could get into a position where it could blackmail governments, she said.

Leaders of G20 nations are scheduled to meet in Pittsburgh at the end of the month.

Merkel and Sarkozy are pressing for European leaders to present a united front on reform issues. The leaders also said it was time to review strategies for withdrawing from crisis-oriented monetary policies.

We must take care that, on the one hand, we act correctly with regard to the recession and the economic crisis, but on the other hand, we mustn't make the same mistakes again that led to this crisis, Merkel said.