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G20 must grasp the nettle, and hold it - Bowles

September 16, 2009 12:00 AM

Sharon Bowles MEP (UK Liberal Democrat, South East of England) Chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has called on next week's G20 summit to take real steps towards reform of the world financial system.

Speaking as the European Parliament debates the G20, Ms Bowles said:

"The last G20 summit produced many words, but too few solid commitments.

"This time we need leaders from Europe, the US and elsewhere to grasp the nettle of reform, and hold it. It might be a painful process, but the rewards are real and necessary."

Ms Bowles highlighted key areas in which the leaders of the most developed nations must make progress:

"We need agreement on 'living wills' for cross-border businesses, so that when crisis or bankruptcy strike, we know who owns which assets and who owes what to whom.

"Everyone seems to agree that this would be a good thing, but the real test will come when the legal structures look complex and member states get the jitters. The G20 must hold the line.

"We also need an agreement on bonuses. The days of the super-bonus are over.

"But the danger of a basic bonus cap is that the cash will simply be piled on to salaries, giving to one hand what has been taken from the other.

"We should in fact link salary and bonuses to the cost of capital and reward real achievement fairly.

"These are things that the G20 can only achieve by working together."

ENDS.