EU - Brown and Sarkozy to call for more transparency at London summit
Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will call for increased transparency in financial markets after a London meeting this week
LONDON, March 25, 2008 - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will call for increased transparency in
financial markets after a London meeting this week, Downing Street said Monday.
The meeting between the two, set for Thursday, the second day of Sarkozy's
two-day state visit to Britain, will also focus on reform of major
international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and
the United Nations Security Council, Brown's office said in a statement.
Brown and Sarkozy will call for "full and immediate disclosure of
write-offs by banks", the statement read, noting that "events in recent weeks,
especially the collapse of (US bank) Bear Stearns, has demonstrated the scale
of the problem and the effect on market stability of difficult to value assets
and of undisclosed loans becoming known in a piecemeal fashion.
"Brown and Sarkozy are increasingly concerned that confidence in financial
markets is being affected by uncertainty over the scale of bad debts on banks'
Along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and then Italian prime minister Romano Prodi, Brown and Sarkozy said in January following a mini-summit in London that financial institutions
should make "prompt and full disclosure of losses".
The British and French leaders will also on Thursday call for reform of
major international financial institutions, a long-time interest of Brown's,
in a bid to make the IMF and Financial Stability Forum work closer together.
"As permanent members of the Security Council, they will call for reform of
the Council to make it more representative of the 21st century, including
permanent representation for Africa," said the Downing Street statement.
Among other things they will discuss, the pair will talk about the need to
reform the European Union, which is in the process of ratifying a
controversial new treaty that has faced heavy opposition in Britain, and will
consider other ways they and other countries can promote financial stability.
Downing Street also said that the two leaders will "discuss how the
international community can best deal with post-conflict reconstruction and
failing and rogue states."
Brown last week mooted a 1,000-strong rapid-reaction force of police,
judges and administrators to deploy to such areas, and will ask Sarkozy about
the possibility for a French contribution.
Also on the agenda is "greater burden-sharing" in Afghanistan, where
Britain and the United States have called for fellow NATO members to commit
more troops and resources in a bid to quell an insurgency waged by the
Islamist Taliban militia.
According to a report in The Times newspaper over the weekend, Sarkozy will
tell Brown that he plans to send an extra 1,000 soldiers to Afghanistan, where
there are currently 1,600 French troops. Britain has about 7,800 soldiers in