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France Tackles Crisis in the EU

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France Tackles Crisis in the EU

Ambassador Pierre Vimont

France assumed the presidency of the European Union in July. Since then, they have faced several crises, including Russia's invasion of Georgia and the global economic downturn.

Europe's approach to the financial crisis under the leadership of French President Nicolas Sarkozy leadership is different from the American. President Sarkozy thinks this a crucial time for a global transformation to take place.

He and other European leaders are calling for a new Bretton-Woods conference on the organization of the global economy. The first Bretton-Woods Conference, held in 1944, led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and eventually the World Bank.

Sarkozy's comments about the global economy have been in stark contrast with Bush's. Sarkozy has said things like “Self regulation to solve all problems, it's finished. Laissez-Faire, it's finished. All powerful market that's always right, it's finished.” He also said: “Self-regulation is sometimes insufficient. The market is sometimes wrong. Competition is sometimes ineffective or disloyal. It's necessary then for the state to intervene.” Meanwhile, President Bush is saying “It's essential that we preserve the foundation of democratic capitalism. [We need] commitment to free markets, free enterprise, free trade.” 

Pierre Vimont is French Ambassador to the United States. I asked him if these two minds could meet if they start talking about the global regulations of the financial industry.

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