France to push G20 monetary reforms: finance minister

LONDON, Nov 16, 2010 (AFP) - French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Tuesday the G20 must push forward with reform of the international monetary system as it cannot operate with the current level of volatility.

Speaking at a forum in London, Lagarde said France would "not give up" on the task when it takes over the presidency of the Group of 20 nations next year.

"Clearly the reform of the monetary system at an international level under G20 proposals and governance will be a task where we will not give up, we cannot possibly give up," she told the Financial Times "Women at the Top" conference.

"We cannot operate with the level of volatility, the level of unsettling there is at the moment, particularly in relation to currencies," Lagarde added.

At a stormy G20 summit in Seoul last week, leaders vowed to avoid currency manipulation and trade protectionism, but bad blood between China and the United States blocked deeper progress in rebalancing the skewed global economy.

They did, however, give their backing to sweeping reforms designed to give emerging economies such as China a bigger say in the International Monetary Fund.

Lagarde would not be drawn, however, on speculation that Ireland could seek an international bailout at a meeting with other eurozone finance ministers in Brussels later on Tuesday.

"There are questions that I would deliberately not answer. There are areas where clearly there is too much talking and not enough reaching out," she said.

She said on Monday that Ireland had not asked for a bailout.

Other news