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Merkel, Brown Call for Global Economic Rules


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown argued Friday for tougher control of the international economy in a critique of what Europeans see as the dangers of U.S.-style capitalism.

Ms. Merkel called Friday for the creation of an international economic body that might lead to the creation of a UN Economic Council "just as the Security Council was created after the Second World War."

In a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she blamed the credit crunch and resulting global economic meltdown on "irresponsible speculation." The German chancellor said unfettered capitalism without enforceable global standards would run enormous risks.

In his address, Mr. Brown warned against any moves toward protectionism. He also urged political and corporate leaders to "stand by those who are most vulnerable" and help the world's poor.

In his remarks Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to the global elite audience not to forget the "bottom billion" even as governments are straining to strengthen their own financial systems.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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