Italy ready to present global finance reform plan

WASHINGTON Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:51pm EDT

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WASHINGTON Oct 10 (Reuters) - Italy, as the next president of the Group of Seven rich powers, has drafted a reform of the world's financial institutions which it will present to its partners on Saturday, Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti said.

Speaking to reporters after the G7 meeting on Friday, Tremonti said Italy's presidency of the rich nations club, which begins in January, will see a radical shake up of financial institutions to avoid a repetition of recent market turmoil.

"As the next G7 president Italy will propose a reform of the Bretton Woods institutions," Tremonti said, in a reference to the 1944 accords on monetary policy and exchange rates and which created the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

"We already have a draft of our Bretton Woods reform proposals which we will present to the G20 on Saturday," Tremonti said, referring to a meeting among a broad group of developed and emerging economies.

He added that the plan will also include a reform of the G7.

Tremonti, who has often criticised the rapid globalisation process since the mid-1990s, said reform must go beyond tinkering with financial market rules.

"If the origin of the crisis is financial, maybe the solution for the future must be political and institutional, we need to define new trade rules and new rules for finance," he said.

"Finance has to be a means, it cannot be an end. We have rules that reward finance but we are lacking those that ban speculation, speculative instruments and tax havens. It is time to transform the crisis into an opportunity for everyone."

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