Mon, Oct 24, 2011 - Page 10 News List

EU ready for decisive measures on debt crisis: Fillon

Reuters, TOKYO

The EU is ready to adopt decisive measures to tackle its sovereign debt crisis, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said yesterday.

“Member states, including France and Germany, and various EU institutions are ready to take decisive measures,” Fillon, in Japan until yesterday, told reporters through a translator after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

EU leaders were scheduled to hold talks yesterday to try and hammer out a comprehensive plan to tackle the eurozone debt -crisis, but a breakthrough was not expected until another summit on Wednesday.

Noda said that Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy, and France, agreed to cooperate over global economic issues.

“We have agreed to cooperate over how to respond to the global economy ahead of the G20 Cannes summit, including on the pressing issue of Europe’s debt,” he told reporters.

France hosts the G20 summit early next month and Europe’s efforts to contain its debt crisis will be a key issue on the summit agenda.

Fillon said that France’s priority for the G20 summit was to fix global economic imbalances and to coordinate economic policies among various nations.

Fillon and Noda also agreed to work together to enhance nuclear safety and bilaterally discuss energy policy, seven months after the world’s worst atomic crisis in 25 years unfolded at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeast Japan.

The two countries would cooperate in cleaning up areas contaminated by radioactive materials released from the plant, crippled by a huge earthquake and tsunami that struck in March, the leaders said in a statement.

They will also push for peer reviews of nuclear plants, or inspections organized by the UN’s atomic watchdog and set up a bilateral committee to discuss nuclear energy, the leaders said in the statement.

France is the world’s most nuclear-dependent country. After the Fukushima crisis, French nuclear operator Areva sold its equipment to decontaminate radioactive water to Tokyo Electric Power Co, the Fukushima plant owner.

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