BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Saturday for unified international rules for the financial markets, on the eve of hosting a meeting with the heads of Europe’s leading economies. There could no longer be “blank spots” where regulations don’t apply in the wake of the financial meltdown, Merkel said in her weekly video pod cast.
The comments came 24 hours before Germany is set to welcome France, Spain, Britain, Italy and the Netherlands for a one-off pre- summit meeting, before April’s G20 summit in London.
The chancellor, criticized last year for being slow to match British and French national rescue plans, said new unified rules must apply to all financial market products, financial instruments and market participants.
Merkel said Germany was “very well prepared” for Sunday’s meeting. A group of experts chaired by a former chief economist of Germany’s central bank, Otmar Issing, had made several suggestions, she added.
These include a map listing the risks faced by financial institutions operating worldwide.
In addition Merkel said Germany was calling for “stronger regulation of hedge funds and improved methods for rating agencies.”
Merkel said the Group of 20 (G20) major economic powers were working with “high pressure” on the implementation of a plan of action agreed at the group’s last meeting in November.
At the next G20 meeting, scheduled for April 2, Merkel expected the group to take “a sigig these measures.” That London summit will be US President Barack Obama’s first visit to Europe since taking office. “On Sunday we will take preparatory measures to appear united and ambitious in London,” Merkel said. The chancellor added that her proposal for a “new charter of common sustainable economic growth” had met with “broad support.”-SANA