3.31.2009

Nicolas Sarkozy’s threat to walk out of global summit

Anglo-Saxon gibe strains relations with Obama.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/G20/article6005810.ece

Nicolas Sarkozy

President Sarkozy yesterday threatened to wreck the London summit if France’s demands for tougher financial regulation are not met.

France will not accept a G20 that produces a “false success with language that sounds good but contains no commitments”, his advisers said.

Asked if this meant a possible walk-out, Xavier Musca, Mr Sarkozy’s deputy chief of staff for economic affairs, said: “A basic rule with nuclear deterrence is that you do not say at what point you will use the weapon.”

The French threat dramatically raised the temperature hours before President Obama arrives in London today. If carried through, it would ruin a summit for which Mr Brown and Mr Obama have high ambitions, believing it vital to international recovery.

Mr Sarkozy, who blames the “Anglo-Saxons” for causing the economic crisis, told his ministers last week that he would leave Mr Brown’s summit “if it does not work out”.

A deal to tighten regulation will be one of the key features of the G20 accord but France wants a global financial regulator, an idea fiercely opposed by the United States and Britain. Mr Brown has described the notion as ridiculous.

Germany and other nations are reported to be against a global regulator and sources said that President Sarkozy must know that the proposal would not make progress.

Thousands of demonstrators march through central London, on March 28, 2009. Tens of thousands of trade unionists, environmental campaigners and anti-globalisation activists took to the streets of London on Saturday to start five days of protests before the G20 summit.

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Ireland's economy loses coveted AAA rating.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article6005518.ece

Ireland’s economy ends long winning run

Ireland was stripped of its top AAA credit ranking and downgraded to AA+ by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) yesterday while being warned that it could drop further if Dublin fails to get its public finances under control.

The former “Celtic Tiger” economy is the second eurozone country after Spain in January to lose its top ranking since the onslaught of the global downturn. Such a downgrade will increase Ireland’s borrowing costs.

S&P said the Irish Government had underestimated the scale of its fiscal problems and the agency dismissed the possibility of a solution emerging at an emergency budget next week.

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