OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada heads into a weekend meeting of global finance chiefs refusing to budge in its stance against contributing additional funds to the International Monetary Fund to deal with fallout from the European debt crisis.
The IMF has been pressing for increased resources to be able protect the world economy from Europe’s debt crisis.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Europe needed to “step up to the plate much more than they have”, while Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said rescue funds were not the key to resolving the problem, but rather European’s own actions over a long period of time.
“Solving the issues in Europe is not about a firewall, it’s about decisions that will be taken in Europe over a sustained period of time; and it’s European actions that will be decisive here as opposed to outside money,” Carney told a news conference ahead of meetings in Washington of the Group of 20 leading economies and the International Monetary Fund.
Addressing the IMF’s position on the need to boost rescue funds for Europe, Carney said, “The IMF has a view but there’s not a consensus within the G20 at this stage.”
A senior finance official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Canada’s position going into the weekend meetings was that it was not prepared at this time to make a bilateral commitment to increase IMF resources.
He said Canadian officials were willing to discuss the issue with counterparts and reflect on the situation.
There was no indication on whether Ottawa would support a broad G20 commitment to bolster IMF resources, even if not all members participated. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner expressed support for the idea on Wednesday, although the U.S. has no intention of contributing because of the difficulty of getting Congressional approval in an election year.
The Canadian official said the IMF’s current $400 billion was sufficient to deal with immediate needs but could not say how much might be needed to cover various possible contingencies in the global economy.
With additional reporting by Randall Palmer in Ottawa; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson