Sweden blasts French financial reform plan

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Friday blasted French proposals for overhauling the global financial system, warning that EU leaders were unlikely to agree on them.

“If I’m honest, I don’t think we will reach an agreement on this (French) document which is being presented (today in Brussels) and thereby I guess you can say the aim will not be achieved,” he said as he entered the EU summit.

“It might have been possible if one had listened because many of the objections I have are already on record,” he added.

French President Nicolas “Sarkozy can say that he believes in this but then I will say that Sweden does not agree,” he said.

“It is very easy to be in such a rush to show leadership that one forgets to correctly and thoroughly analyze (the situation). These are very complex questions regarding how to globally work with different kinds of regulation.”

Reinfeldt said he did not think an informal gathering should produce the kind of document Sarkozy wants to push through ahead of a G20 meeting of economic powers in Washington on November 15.

“We have a number of objections … (including) that we think there is too much regulation and (one is basing the document) on a partially mistaken basis. I will therefore make it clear that this is not a document that Sweden stands behind, even though there are of course portions that we agree with.

“It is perhaps less important to simply show that you’re doing things all the time than to do the right things and take the time to analyze.”

In the French document to be discussed by European leaders, Paris calls for a much more important role for the International Monetary Fund, which it says should be “the prime organization responsible for world financial stability.”

Eager for the Washington G20 summit to be more than just a talking shop, the EU’s French presidency also wants it to be followed up with “concrete and operational proposals” in the ensuing 100 days.

The lunch summit was dedicated to the issue.