'A new capitalism' on international agenda

Two leading international organizations have backed the idea of reforming the international financial system to prevent another credit crisis.

Two leading international organizations have backed the idea of reforming the world's financial system to prevent another credit crisis.

The Group of Eight major industrial countries — the U.S., Britain, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Italy and Canada  — said Wednesday that it will hold a global summit "in the near future" to discuss ways to "remedy deficiencies exposed by the current crisis."   

A G8 statement provided no details, but French President Nicolas Sarkozy said all 27 European Union (EU) countries supported the idea, and backed restructuring institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Speaking in Brussels, where the EU met to endorse the $2.7-trillion bank support plan some of its leaders agreed to over the weekend, Sarkozy said the G8 meeting should produce "a new capitalism."  

The EU leaders "all agreed that we don't want the same causes to produce the same effects in future," he said.

The G8 said the meeting should include developed and developing countries, which would include large, strong and growing economies like China, India and Brazil.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the meeting could produce "very large and very radical changes."

Brown and Sarkozy both suggested the meeting might resemble the 1944 Bretton Woods conference, which established the post-Second World War international financial and monetary system.    

Call to change EU global-warming plan

The deal will enable all 27 EU members to support their financial systems by rescuing weak banks and encouraging lending among financial institutions.

But eight central and eastern European countries called on the EU to pull back from a plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 because Europe faces "serious economic and financial uncertainties."

The countries — Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — made the plea at the opening of the meeting of the European Council, the top EU decision-making body.

A top EU official had earlier said that the credit crisis did not justify abandoning the climate-change plan.

"This is not a luxury we now have to forgo," Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said Tuesday. "Saving the planet is not an after-dinner drink, a digestif that you take or leave. Climate change does not disappear because of the financial crisis."

Barroso and British PM Brown told reporters after they met Wednesday morning that the financial crisis should not overshadow climate-change concerns.

The summit continues Thursday.

With files from the Associated Press