Canada's Flaherty says G20 risks becoming irrelevant

MEXICO CITY Sun Nov 4, 2012 7:22pm EST

MEXICO CITY Nov 4 (Reuters) - The G20 risks becoming irrelevant unless members follow through on commitments to reduce their deficits and bolster bank capital to prevent another global financial meltdown, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Sunday.

"It's important to keep the G20 as an effective organization, that member countries keep their commitments. Otherwise it becomes a paper tiger," Flaherty told reporters just before a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Mexico City.

Canada, a strong proponent of tighter fiscal policy in major economies, is willing to allow the United States more time to meet its G20 pledge of halving its fiscal deficit by 2013. Flaherty said he will push for the U.S. to commit to that goal in "the medium term."

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