Brazil Joins France to Blame US for Crisis and Demand More Oversight

Presidents Lula and Sarkozy from Brazil and France French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a visit to Brazil and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva agreed on Monday to take a common EU-Brazil position to the next G20 summit dealing with the global financial crisis.

"We decided with President Lula that things must change and change profoundly," Sarkozy, the current president of the European Union, said in a speech at a two-day EU-Brazil summit in Rio de Janeiro.

"We decided to narrow our positions and arrive in London with a common vision, on the future role of the IMF, the system of management of financial institutions," he said. "We cannot allow a single financial institution to be uncontrolled or unsupervised."

Sarkozy and Lula da Silva gave no details on proposals they would take to the London summit on April 2 and they did not take questions from reporters after their meeting, which was also attended by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

Sarkozy also openly backed Brazil's claim to a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, saying the country had a vital role to play in global decision-making during the financial crisis.

"I am sincere when I say that we need Brazil in the world's governance," Sarkozy said. "President Lula knows that this view is not shared by all European countries, so I am speaking not as President of the European Council, but as the President of France. We need Brazil to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council and also to help safeguard the planet's environmental balance."

Lula has made obtaining a permanent council seat for Brazil one his major foreign policy goals.

The Brazilian leader hailed last month's G20 summit of leading economies in Washington as a decisive step toward increasing the clout of developing countries. Among other steps, the summit opened the door for more countries to have seats at the IMF and the World Bank.

Lula joined Sarkozy in calling for governments to take a greater role in regulating financial markets and in creating jobs, including the United States, which he said bore the brunt of blame for the crisis.

"President Obama has a responsibility on his back that few presidents in the world have," Lula said in a speech, referring to US President-elect Barack Obama.

"He will take office with a crisis that the United States has more than 60% of the responsibility for."

Mercopress

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