EU says no to new stimulus funds
BRUSSELS - European Union nations have already spent enough to try to boost sluggish demand, the bloc's leaders said yesterday, calling instead for better financial regulation to restore market confidence and fix the ailing world economy.
They also raised new red flags against protectionism after French carmaker Renault SA said it was moving jobs out of low-wage Slovenia and into recession-hit France, and urged more funding for the International Monetary Fund to help countries hard hit by the crisis.
Stimulus spending, market confidence, financial regulation, and free trade will be key issues at a Group of 20 summit of the world's leading rich and developing economies next month.
The plan EU leaders outlined yesterday stands in stark contrast to President Obama's heavy stimulus spending and could make for tough negotiations at the April 2 summit on how best to resolve the global economic crisis.
Getting lending flowing again to businesses and households means more rules and oversight for the financial system and a stronger role and more resources for the IMF, the EU leaders said at a summit that ended yesterday.
Leaders of the EU's 27 nations insisted it was too soon to inject extra billions of dollars into their own economies to fight a recession that has sent EU's jobless rate soaring.
Europe is doing "all that was necessary to restore growth," EU leaders said in a joint statement.