Today in Brussels, Prime Minister Janez Janša attended an informal European Council meeting, which, on the proposal of the French Presidency, was focused on consideration of starting points for a common position of European Union representatives at the summit of the G-20 group. This will be held on 15 November in Washington on the initiative of George Bush, President of the USA. “The European Union has reached an informal consensus on the positions it would present at the global financial summit. If this position gets the support of the USA, China and other major global economies, this will indeed be a revolution in global finance,” said the Prime Minister after the meeting.
Prime Minister Janez Janša and President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet (Photo: Thierry Monasse/STA)
The central topic of today’s informal European council meeting, as well as of the forthcoming meeting in Washington, is the current situation in international financial markets, the global response to it and long-term measures in the international financial system for the prevention of future crises. Prime Minister Janša pointed out that the heads of state and government had not been absolutely unanimous today; however, a significant level of agreement was reached about the key steps to be proposed. “The key commitment in the informal document, which was largely harmonised today, is that no financial institution in the world and no territory may be left uncontrolled.” He also stressed the European leaders’ warnings of negative impacts of over-regulation. In the opinion of many, regulation and control as such are not a solution, for they may lead to the other extreme.
Prime Minister Janez Janša and Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis (Photo: Thierry Monasse/STA)
“The fact that Europe has reached agreement is a great success,” underlined the Prime Minister and expressed his awareness of the fact that the most difficult task would be gaining global support for the European positions. “This will be extremely difficult due to the difference in positions,” he said, assessing that the support of major global economies would mean a revolution in the global financial system. “It is about the concept of the new global financial order originating from Europe. If it gets support in its key points, this will actually mean a great step forward,” was the Prime Minister’s optimistic belief. Specifically, this is the only way for the world to avoid financial crises in the future. “The potential failure of the Washington summit may, however, bring a great problem and a major step towards further aggravation of the global crisis. It is therefore a great risk, but one which cannot be avoided,” warned the Prime Minister.
Slovenia has not been directly affected by the financial crisis, but we can anticipate negative impacts of the next stage – economic crisis, since economic growth is slowing down. In the Prime Minister’s words, the measures adopted by Slovenia in the last few weeks and oriented towards disburdening the economy have been welcomed. This also means that Slovenia, as a part of the European market with a markedly export-oriented economy, resolutely responded to the second phase of this crisis.
(Photo: Thierry Monasse/STA)
In his talk to the Slovenian press, Prime Minister Janez Janša added that Slovenia had already proposed a nominee for secretary general of the deliberation group, whose task would be to help in facing the future challenges of the European Union. It is known that Slovenia was given this position at the October meeting of the European Council, which was also publicly announced by the President of the European Council, French President Nicolas Sarkozy. As Prime Minister Janša said today, the name of the Slovenian secretary general would be, as agreed, disclosed by the French Presidency when all formalities have been completed and the name synchronised with the head of the group, former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez. “We expect this in the next few days, because most of the formalities have been completed,” said the Prime Minister.