Canada, France seek overhaul of financial system

Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:27pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Randall Palmer

QUEBEC CITY (Reuters) - Capitalism must be better regulated to prevent future financial crises, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday after meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The two men, along with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, agreed on the need to hold an international summit before the end of the year "to restore confidence and the normal functioning of the financial system".

They met a day ahead of talks that Sarkozy and Barroso will hold with U.S. President George W. Bush at Camp David in Maryland.

"Clearly in the world of globalization, our institutions and our capacity to act have not kept up with other developments, and we're seeing some of the consequences of that, and we have to have new infrastructure," Harper told a news conference with Sarkozy and Barroso.

"It's not to say capitalism is flawed, it's to say that governments have a responsibility to create a better infrastructure for the establishment of markets internationally," he said.

Sarkozy said a summit is needed to launch an overhaul or "refoundation" of capitalism to become "a capitalism of entrepreneurs, not speculators". The president rejected the idea that regulation somehow clashed with freedom.

"There is no freedom without a minimum of regulation and supervision," the conservative leader said, adding the world must ensure the same causes do not produce the same effects.

Sarkozy said he aimed for progress in Quebec and on Saturday with Bush on the date, agenda and attendees of the financial crisis summit.   Continued...

<p>France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) walks Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean (2nd L), Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (2nd R) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) before the start of a meeting at the Citadelle in Quebec City October 17, 2008. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi</p>