Sweden mulls EU summit to discuss crisis

AFP/The Local
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Sweden mulls EU summit to discuss crisis

The Swedish EU presidency is considering calling an extraordinary EU summit in September to find common ground ahead of a G20 meeting about the global economic crisis in Pittsburgh.


Sweden, which holds the rotating EU presidency, is conducting a consultation of European powers and according to Roberta Alenius, spokesperson for Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, "most of them are positive" about the idea.

"The prime minister wants a summit if it is really needed, and if it gives a common position before the Pittsburgh meeting" on September 24-25, she added.

The G20 group of the world's leading industrialized economies are to gather in the Pennsylvania city to discuss new market regulations in the light of last year's global financial meltdown.

Financing the global fight against climate change will also be discussed there, giving European nations even more reason to seek a common stance beforehand.

Two G20 meetings in November and April last year were both preceded by extraordinary talks between EU leaders.

"We haven't taken any decision yet," said Alenius by telephone from Stockholm.

"We don't want an inflation of summits," she added, a charge that was levelled against France when it held the EU helm in the last half of 2008.

A European source said a meeting of European Union heads of state and government could take place between September 8 and 20. The date of September 17, a week before the G20 meeting, has been circulating in parts of the media.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to visit Berlin on Monday for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to prepare for the G20 summit, the German government said.

On Tuesday, Sarkozy forced French bankers to accept new rules limiting bonuses paid to traders and vowed to take his campaign for greater market regulation to next month's G20 summit.

EU finance ministers will meanwhile meet in Brussels next Wednesday with the G20 summit in mind, and on September 4-5 the finance ministers of the Group of 20 nations will hold talks in London.

EU member states have already agreed among themselves to boost surveillance of the banking and insurance sectors as well as hedge funds.


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