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HIGHLIGHTS-European Union pre-G20 summit in Brussels
March 20, 2009 / 12:33 PM / 9 years ago

HIGHLIGHTS-European Union pre-G20 summit in Brussels

BRUSSELS, March 20 (Reuters) - The following are comments by European Union leaders on Friday, the last day of their two-day summit in Brussels.

The latest in a line of international gatherings to prepare April 2’s G20 talks, the EU summit put the onus on the need for tighter regulation to avoid a repeat of the worst financial crisis in generations.

For comments from Thursday, click on [ID:nLI946836]

LUXEMBOURG PRIME MINISTER JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER

On whether European Central Bank should have bailout fund:

“No. I do think we have to implement strictly the (EU) treaty and the treaty in article 103 is laying down the no-bailout rule, and we have to have this in mind.” Financial regulation:

“I think the G20 meeting in London should focus on financial regulation ... One of the reasons why we told the Americans that we are not ready to increase stimulus packages was that we want the meeting to look first of all on regulation. Decisions must be taken at the meeting to strengthen the regulatory framework for financial markets so that no part is without supervision or controls.”

“For us the de Larosiere (report on financial regulation) is the basis for future work.”

Aid for eastern Europe:

“It’s a way to indicate to central and eastern European countries that we would be ready to act if further action would be requested.”

Tax havens:

“I have had meetings both with Mrs (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel and (German Finance) Minister (Peer) Steinbrueck, our minister of treasury had a meeting with Minister Steinbrueck. I have had talks these days with the French finance minister and with the president of the republic. The president of the republic was the first one to tell his colleagues Saturday night that in no case should Luxembourg be on the list as we have agreed on the OECD framework.”

“We have agreed last Friday to accept the general OECD framework as far as double taxation agreements are concerned. That means exchange of information on demand and on request. That is the position and we would like the European Union when examining different proposals of the European Commission that this will become the position of the European Union. We are not prepared to go further.”

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JOSE MANUEL BARROSO

On doubling crisis fund for struggling EU states:

“As was said, we have 25 billion (euros) at the moment and this is enough to cover countries which have already asked for balance of payment support -- Hungary and Latvia. But recently we’ve had a request from Romania, and we think the Romanian request can also be covered by the 25 billion figure, and this still leaves us quite a big margin.”

“What we decided today is that we will double this facility -- instead of having 25 billion, our ceiling would be 50 billion ... there haven’t been any specific requests for that extra bit -- we had already received that request from Romania, but that request would still be dealt with under the previous ceiling.”

“We wanted to show that we already, should it be necessary, should there be any future requests, that we’re ready, we’d be able to respond to these possible cases.”

On bailouts:

“We are ready to intervene as necessary but there is no bailout plan for any specific country of the euro zone.”

CZECH PRIME MINISTER MIREK TOPOLANEK

On Eastern Partnership scheme:

“The summit on the Eastern Partnership should be in Prague. On the matter of (Belarus President Aleksander) Lukashenko, that would depend on the behaviour of Mr Lukashenko and the Belarus government. But Belarus should be in the Eastern Partnership.”

EUROPEAN COMMISSION‘S BARROSO

On climate change:

“The European Union will take on its fair share of financing action for developing countries ... with the spirit of helping developing countries to match their commitments in the fight against climate change.”

On financial regulation:

“There was ... a strong endorsement of the Larosiere recommendations as the basis for further actions.”

CZECH PRIME MINISTER TOPOLANEK

“If there is a need to help countries which are particularly hit by the crisis, then there is the possibility to help them -- 75 billion (euros) is the figure for a voluntary loan to the IMF to act better in the crisis.”

“There was unanimous support for our agreed text on the G20.”

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