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EUR: 'Unprecedented cooperation' ahead on world crisis: Brown

20 Feb 2009 4:43 AM

ROME, Feb 19 AFP - The world will see "unprecedented cooperation" in addressing the global financial crisis, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Thursday after meeting in Rome with his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi.

"We are going to see unprecedented global cooperation over the next few months," he said, looking forward to a Group of 20 meeting in London in April and a July Group of Eight summit in Italy.

The world has been "brought low by an economic hurricane," Brown said at a joint news conference with Berlusconi.

"I am absolutely confident that... by cooperating together we can deal with the problems in the financial system (and) we can stimulate economic activity," he added.

Brown noted that already "the biggest fiscal stimulus the world has ever seen" is being implemented, including "the biggest injection of funds into the banking system."

Both Berlusconi and Brown warned against protectionism.

"The problem with protectionism is that once one country puts up barriers... the process continues in country after country," Brown said. The Italian prime minister said: "We shouldn't fall into this trap."

The two leaders, who both vowed to work for tighter regulation and oversight in the financial system, will take turns playing host to key international meetings in the coming months.

A summit of the Group of 20 emerging and industrialised countries to be held in London on April 2, should "seek to establish a 'charter of principles' for financial regulation and oversight," they said in a joint opinion piece published Thursday by the Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore.

In July, when the Group of Eight wealthy nations are to hold a summit in Italy, Brown and Berlusconi said the delegates would have "a chance to go further, with the adoption of a common system of principles and rules covering the integrity and transparency of international economic and financial activities."