EU agrees plans for finance summit

French president says EU has agreed strategy on economic crisis to present at US talks.

    Sarkozy, left, and Barroso, centre, helped arrange the Washington summit with George Bush [AFP]

     

    With France holding the current EU presidency, it will be Sarkozy's role to present the European bloc's case.

    Friday's meeting in the Belgian capital appears to have overcome divisions within the EU on how much regulation the financial system should be subjected to in the future.

    Jonah Hull, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Brussels, said that Britain and France favoured a high degree of regulation, but that Germany was worried that this would hamper individual countries facing recession.

    Markets up

    On the stock markets, European shares rose on Friday with London's FTSE 100 closing up 2.69 per cent, Paris' CAC 40 rising 2.42 per cent and Frankfurt's Dax gaining 2.59 per cent.

    In commodities, both oil and gold lost ground.

    Analysts had predicted before the Brussels conference that some EU countries which had previously opted out of the euro would contemplate switching to it to bring stability.

    Adhip Chaudhuri, an economics professor at the Georgetown University's Doha campus, said: "There is speculation that some non-euro countries, like Denmark and Sweden, may switch to the euro currency.

    "After the Iceland experience, these two countries have seen the collective strength of the European currency, whereas we saw Iceland struggling alone."

    In September, Ireland became the first eurozone member to fall into a recession since the US sub-prime home loan crisis sparked a global economic slowdown.

    Its economy, hit by a domestic property market meltdown, entered recession for the first time in 25 years after shrinking in the second quarter of 2008.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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