EU leaders agree outline of global financial regulation

European heads of state meet to agree a common position for financial regulation

BERLIN - European leaders have met to agree seven key points for sweeping regulatory change in response to the financial crisis. German chancellor Angela Merkel chaired the meeting with UK prime minister Gordon Brown, president Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and top officials from Luxembourg, Spain, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

A statement was released on February 22, designed as a precursor to establish the European position before the April 2 summit of the G-20 nations. Gordon Brown has already called for a "global New Deal" in response to the crisis - an echo of the US response the 1930s Depression. It is unknown whether the new US administration, Japan, China and other developing nations such as India and Brazil will heed the call.

"All financial markets, products and participants, including hedge funds and other private pools of capital, which may pose a systematic risk must be subjected to appropriate oversight or regulation," said Merkel in a statement on behalf of summit members.

"The IMF's resources must be doubled to enable it to help its members swiftly and flexibly when they experience difficulties with respect to their balance of payments," she said.

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