Sarkozy vows G20 finance, governance shake-up

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France's President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday vowed to push on with major global financial reforms when he takes the helm of the G20 and G8 groups in the coming months.

He called for experts to meet in China to discuss "an international reserve asset which is not issued by one single country" -- a reference to the eminence of the US dollar in currency investments and the rising importance of the yuan.

Looking ahead to France's leadership of the Group of 20 rich and emerging economies from November and the Group of Eight from January, Sarkozy proposed to shake up global governance, notably by setting up a G20 "secretariat" with a role in development and climate measures.

The China meeting should consider ways "to reinforce our crisis-management mechanisms" and "better coordinate our economic and monetary policies," he said, in his annual foreign policy speech to French ambassadors.

He called for new monetary "instruments to avoid excessive volatility of currencies" blamed for aggravating the effects of economic troubles, as well as action to tame turbulence on raw materials and energy markets.

The G20 emerged in the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis as a powerful new voice to challenge the traditional economic heavyweights of the G8.

"Only the G20 has the specific weight, legitimacy and decision-making capacity necessary to give the indispensable impetus to the projects of tomorrow," Sarkozy said.

© 2010 AFP

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