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EU Finance Ministers Meet Amid Global Crisis

European finance ministers began a two-day meeting in Luxembourg to deal with the worst financial crisis in years. Lisa Bryant reports for VOA from Paris that the 27-member block has pledged to protect savings and to maintain financial stability.

The finance ministers aim to fill in the details of pledges by leaders of Europe's top four economic powers to work together to get out of a crisis that has roiled the 27-member European Union along with many other parts of the world.

The broad details of the cooperation plan were outlined Saturday by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France - the current president of the European Union - along with other leaders attending the summit in Paris.

Mr. Sarkozy said in a statement Monday that all EU members would take necessary steps to maintain financial stability. A number of European countries, including France, moved to increase guarantees to bank savers in line with action already taken by Germany.

But their moves did not appear to calm investors in the short term, as stocks tumbled in Tokyo and New York during the day.

During their talks in Luxembourg, finance minister from the 15 European economies that use the euro as currency will look at the effects of the crisis and whether to increase supervision of financial institutions operating in several EU countries. The ministers are not expected to soften criteria like budget-deficit caps for entering the group.

EU countries have rejected a common bailout plan similar to the United States, but Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands recently worked together to save two ailing financial institutions with operations in all three countries.