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France - G20

G20 leaders agree a series of measures

Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

The two-day G20 which wrapped up on Friday in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was dominated by the financial crisis facing the eurozone. Debt problems in Greece and Italy grabbed headlines, but the final statement addressed a number of other issues. 

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  • Growth - developed economies agreed to adopt policies to support growth and to implement measures to bring about fiscal harmony. Countries with large current account surpluses committed to reforms to increase domestic demand.
  • Tax on financial transactions – in his closing speech, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he wanted to see a form of tax in place by the start of 2012. He stressed that a plan to introduce the tax, drawn up by the European Commission, would be scrutinised by all the heads of state in the EU. He said he was delighted at the number of countries who had joined France in support of the tax including Germany, Spain, Argentina, the African Union, Ethiopia and South Africa.
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  • Banks – regulators have identified 29 banks which would be a danger to the economy if they were to go bankrupt. These banks will be forced to introduce measure to improve their financial security. They include French banks,BNP Paribas, Banque Populaire, Caisse d’Epargne, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale but other banks were also highlighted including American investment bank, Goldman Sachs.

  • Tax havens – Sarkozy insisted that these havens can no longer be allowed to exist. He said countries which continue to act as tax havens “will be shunned by the international community”.
  • International Monetary Fund – the G20 agreed to support the IMF and give it more money if necessary with specific steps to be decided on by February 2012.

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