EU's Barroso backs call to limit bankers' bonuses

28th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Barroso echoes French President Nicolas Sarkozy call for limits on bonuses for bank traders.

Brussels -- EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday threw his weight behind France's push for bonus limits for bankers, stressing the need for "reinforced ethics."

His commission has long been calling for the introduction of "some principles limiting bonus and salaries to executives," but up till now no one has paid attention, Barroso told reporters.

"I'm very happy that now some leaders are giving attention to it and of course we will work," he added during a press conference with EU parliament president Jerzy Buzek, while adding that he had not seen any "specific proposals".

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday he will call for limits on bonuses for bank traders when he takes his campaign for greater regulation of the global finance industry to next month's G20 summit.

"We will propose a strengthening of sanctions towards banks that do not play by the rules and we will even raise the issue of limiting the size of bonuses," Sarkozy said in Paris.

Such a proposal has also been supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Barroso stressed that "we will work in the framework of the G20 to address all those issues that have to do with the reinforced ethics of the market economy.

Barroso estimated that the European Commission which he heads, along with France, which held the rotating EU presidency for the second half of last year, were "at the origin of this process" to rein in the worst excesses of the financial world.

Back in the spring the European Union's executive arm lamented that corporate remuneration had become too complex, focused on rewarding achievements in the short term, and in some cases simply too generous.

The ideas will also be discussed by EU finance ministers.


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