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EU Leaders Seek Unified Position Ahead of G20 Summit


European leaders hold an informal meeting later Thursday in Brussels to coordinate the European Union's position ahead of next week's Group of 20 summit in the United States.

Swedish Prime Minister and EU President Fredrik Reinfeldt says the leaders will discuss signs of economic recovery, employment, global trade, assistance to developing countries and the fight against climate change.

EU leaders also are expected to call on the world's leading economies to threaten sanctions against banks that pay huge bonuses to their executives.

Since the meeting is informal, officials say no conclusions will be published. However, EU President Reinfeldt is expected to prepare a report that will become the group's unified position at next week's world summit.

A draft EU statement leaked to reporters Wednesday calls for bonuses to be linked to a company's performance, and would rescind bonuses if the deals that generated the bonuses go sour in the long run.

Some economists say the bonus culture prompted executives to take major risks for short-term profit. Some of these deals turned to massive losses, which threatened the stability of the financial system. Some worried governments used taxpayers' money to keep the firms from collapsing.

France and Germany are calling for caps, on how much bankers can be paid. The U.S. and Britain have so far resisted that approach.

The G20 leaders are set to meet in the eastern U.S. city of Pittsburgh on September 24 and 25.


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

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