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.


Sweden’s injured World Cup hero Jakob Johansson signed by Rennes

French top flight outfit Rennes have signed Sweden's injured World Cup hero Jakob Johansson from Greek champions AEK Athens, the Brittany club said on Monday.

Sweden's injured World Cup hero Jakob Johansson signed by Rennes
Jakob Johansson (centre) celebrates his goal against Italy. Photo: Frank Augstein/AP/TT

Johansson is the man who sent Sweden to the World Cup finals in Russia by scoring the winning goal in a play-off with Italy in November.

“Rennes are a very well structured club with fine training facilities and a great stadium,” Johansson told the Rennes website. “They also have a very clear and ambitious project.”

Rennes came fifth in Ligue 1 last season and are coached by former France midfielder Sabri Lamouchi.

Johansson was club captain at AEK in their title winning campaign but was omitted from Sweden's 23-man World Cup squad due to a knee injury that limited his appearances this season.

The 27-year-old has signed a two year deal at Rennes and moves on a free agent contract.