Spain not invited to crisis summit, says US

23rd October 2008, Comments 0 comments

The United States says only members of the G20 group of wealthy nations and principal emerging countries will be invited to the global summit in November.

23 October 2008

MADRID - Spain's hopes of participating in an international summit to reform the global financial system were effectively dashed on Wednesday when the United States announced that only members of the G20 group of wealthy nations and principal emerging countries would be invited.

White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said there was "no decision to exclude Spain" but rather that the format chosen for the meeting on 15 November means that Madrid will be unable to send representatives.

Though Spain is the world's eighth-largest economy, it does not form part of the G20, which was created following the emerging market crises of the late 1990s to bring together the biggest industrialised nations, known as the G7, and major emerging countries, among them Brazil, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

The US decision is a double blow to Spain, coming just a day after French President Nicolas Sarkozy also suggested a format for the meeting that would have prevented Spanish officials from being in attendance.

Sarkozy went back on his comments Wednesday, issuing a statement in which he said he would encourage the United States to allow Spain to attend.

Spain's bid, which had already been supported by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, was also backed Wednesday by European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso.

[El Pais / Ángeles Espinosa / Expatica]

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