French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission chief Jose
Manuel Barroso meet Saturday with President Bush in a bid for a global
overhaul of the world's financial structure. From Paris, Lisa Bryant
reports that Washington may be less enthusiastic about the European
The meeting between the European and American leaders
is taking place at Camp David, a bucolic retreat outside Washington. It
comes just days after European leaders in Brussels agreed to work
jointly to aid their ailing banks and fight against the world's worst
financial crisis in decades.
At the Brussels summit, President
Nicolas Sarkozy of France, the current European Union president,
stressed the need for a coordinated EU response to the bloc's economic
problems as well as its financial ones.
Sarkozy said European
leaders wanted to defend savers and businesses that wanted to invest.
Behind the financial crisis, he said, was a potential economic one.
Sarkozy and other Europeans, including British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown, want to go further. They talk about overhauling financial
institutions and having a new version of the post World War II Bretton
Woods conference that established a new monetary and financial system.
That is what they may be bringing to the table during talks with President Bush at Camp David.
remarks in Brussels this week, Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Junker
said discussion and coordination between Europe and the United States
on the financial crisis was indispensable. Emerging countries like
India and China should also play a role, he said, in talks that should
take place by the year's end.
But the Bush administration has
offered a more cautious reaction to the idea, particularly as it comes
less than three weeks before the nation's presidential elections. White
House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Friday she did not believe the
summit between Mr. Bush and the Europeans will lead to any new policy