G20 might be ready to give Europe some help: Canada

Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:01pm EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - - There is a sense among the Group of 20 nations that they might need to provide Europe with "some help" to avert a collapse of the euro zone, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Thursday.

Flaherty, who spoke to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., did not give details. He made his remarks about the G20 after criticizing euro zone nations for not doing enough to tackle what he said could become a very serious crisis.

Major euro zone nations would have to recapitalize some of their banks using taxpayers' money, he said.

He added: "This doesn't exclude the world and the G20 and I do talk to my G20 colleagues. And there is some sense around the world that if at the end of the day we have to provide some help, somehow, that we would not turn a blind to it because of the world consequences of a collapse in the euro zone."

Flaherty said Europe would have to commit most of the resources to any initiative, saying a recent promise by European nations to contribute a total of 200 billion euros to ward off the crisis did not amount to very much, given that he thought it would take a trillion euros or more.

Flaherty also indicated Canada had toned down its resistance to paying into an IMF bailout fund for Europe.

"If at the end of the day all the other G20 countries were going to provide more resources to the IMF and let the IMF deal with part of the situation in Europe, then I think there would be support for that overall because of the fear, quite frankly, around the world of a global economic crisis," he said.

Until now, Canada has rejected the idea of contributing to such a fund, saying Europe has enough resources to deal with its debt crisis and stressing the IMF's first responsibility is to poorer nations.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Dan Grebler)

 
<p>Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa December 14, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>