European elders call for solution to crisis

LONDON Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:07am EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - A group of European elder statesmen has urged euro zone governments to resolve the financial crisis, warning that it risks destroying the global financial system.

They called for a legally binding agreement to establish a common treasury, reinforce common supervision and regulation and deliver a growth strategy.

"The euro is far from perfect, as this crisis has revealed," they wrote in a letter to the Financial Times.

"But the answer is to fix its faults rather than allowing it to undermine and perhaps destroy the global financial system," it added.

The 17 signatories included former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, ex-Belgian premiers Jean-Luc Dehaene and Guy Verhofstadt, former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, recent French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and former Spanish economy minister and European monetary affairs commissioner Pedro Solbes, as well as investor George Soros.

Slovakia's parliament blocked the expansion of a bailout fund to rescue the euro zone on Tuesday but the delay is expected to be only temporary and a loan to stricken Greece should also buy further time.

"We call upon the legislatures of the euro zone countries to recognize that the euro needs a European solution," they added.

"The pursuit of national solutions can only lead to dissolution."

(Reporting by Keith Weir; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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