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29 Jun 2010

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe is left wanting after the meagre results of the G20 in Toronto. The promises made during the first meeting of this kind in Washington November 2008, and constantly repeated since then, are far from becoming reality, especially where bank regulation and financial supervision are concerned. At the very least the European Union can be pleased that its ambitious objectives to reduce the public deficits have been an example, but the G-20´s incapacity to define global economic governance compromises the simultaneous plea to support growth and employment.

"The G20´s homage to the virtues of the European budgets is a signal that encourages member states to pursue a dynamic budgetary cleansing", commented Guy Verhofstadt in Bilbao where the Group of liberals and democrats in the European Parliament he presides over is meeting. "However there is still much progress to be made before confidence can be restored in the international banking system."

"In this respect I hope that the European Union's institutions are not too sensitive to the intensive bank lobbying that counsels them to differ prudential standards concerning sovereign funds, something the Basel Committee is working on. It is imperative to clean up the accounts, otherwise lending to the real economy will not start up again", he continued.

"It is also regrettable that so many partners of the EU and the United States don't understand to what extent a banking tax would be in the interest of the global economy, despite the fact that the myth of 'too big to fail' has been exposed", he added.

"Two years since the beginning of the crisis, the Member States have taken their part of the responsibility including being subjected to unpopular budgetary austerity measures. It is time that the private stake-holders, in particular the banks which have played a large role and are largely to blame, take on their responsibility and not be tempted to return to business as usual", concluded Guy Verhofstadt.

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