Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sacre bleu! France threatens to storm out of G20 summit

That France. Just when we thought Paris had returned wholeheartedly to the family of Western nations by resuming full membership in NATO, French President Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to walk out of the G20 economic summit in London if he didn't get the toughened financial regulation his country was seeking. "I want results. We have to get results, there's no choice -- the crisis is too serious to allow us to have a summit for nothing," Sarkozy said, according to the Reuters international news service. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde later echoed Sarkozy's remarks, saying Paris would not sign any accord it didn't like, despite Britain's call for unity. "(Sarkozy) was very clear on that front," Lagarde said. "He said if the deliverables are not there, I won't sign the communique -- that means walking away." But British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the summit's host, said he had spoken personally with Sarkozy on Monday and they were looking forward to working together, Reuters said. Actually, it wasn't just France. The United States and Britain have been divided from other countries in continental Europe on the size of stimulus and regulation packages. European nations have been pushing for overhauls of world financial regulations over the objections of the U.S. and the British, which favor stimulus packages.

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