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Europe

Merkel to Meet Brown Ahead of World Finance Summit

German Chancellor Merkel is set to discuss what lessons Europe should take from the global credit crisis with British Prime Minister Brown. Merkel said she wants new finance rules in place by the end of 2009.

A crosswalk sign and sculpture of a person hammering in front of the Frankfurt skyline

European leaders want to hammer out a position ahead of a world finance summit

After French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Chancellor Angela Merkel, due to arrive Thursday, Oct. 30, is the next guest on British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's list of visitors to discuss the effects of the global financial crisis.

The German and British leaders are also expected to outline their expectations of the first of a series of meetings of the G20 nations at the White House. The Nov. 15 meeting will allow major nations to debate how to reform the financial system.

Merkel said Europe should push for the talks to be conducted quickly and efficiently.

"We must agree a clear mandate for negotiations that should not last longer than a year," Merkel told the German exporters association on Wednesday.

Germany : We must act soon

Chancellor Angela Merkel

Merkel has said the EU can't afford to waste time

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said leaders had only a small window of opportunity to implement new rules for the financial system.

"My hope is that ... we don't see any developments that might change the path we are on," he said, referring to next Tuesday's US election.

Both Merkel and Steinbrueck have been critical of Washington for resisting previous European efforts that would have called for tighter financial supervision.

The three economic powers behind the EU have been in close consultation to hammer out a shared perspective on how to move forward.

"Since the start of the crisis we have been trying to coordinate our positions, to make sure Europe has a common position and to find solutions together to the historic and unprecedented financial crisis rocking the world," Sarkozy said, adding that European capitals would keep up close consultations throughout the crisis.

Larger IMF role

The IMF logo and a pile of euros

Germany wants to see the IMF watching over the world's money

Germany would like to give the International Monetary Fund more control to supervise the financial system, change accounting rules to prevent firms from shifting risks off their balance sheets and overhaul ratings agencies.

After a meeting on Tuesday, both Brown and Sarkozy also called on the IMF to take a larger role in helping countries threatened by the financial crisis.

"We have to find ways and means for the IMF to have more resources to help a certain number of states, I am thinking in particular of emerging nations," Sarkozy said.

Berlin and Paris have, however, clashed recently over French proposals to create an "economic government" for the euro zone and national sovereign wealth funds to protect European companies.

Merkel has led opposition to Sarkozy's plans and promoted allowing individual governments to take the steps they see necessary for their countries.

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