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February 05, 2010

Financial Leaders to Focus on Europe Debt Crisis

Financial chiefs from the world's major industrialized countries are meeting in the Canadian Arctic to discuss Europe's debt crisis and other issues.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven industrialized economies held their latest meeting in the remote town of Iqaluit in Canada's northern Nunavut territory.

Topping the agenda are ballooning debt problems in Greece, Portugal and Spain.  Those European governments are under pressure to get their finances in order to avoid defaulting on debt obligations.  

The possibility of a default has shaken global markets in recent days, as investors worry about the ability of countries to limit spending and enact fiscal reforms.

Ministers are also expected to focus on banking reforms, which have made slow progress since the near collapse of the global financial system.  Some in attendance have expressed doubts about a new U.S. proposal to impose stricter rules on big banks.

Britain's Finance Minister Alistair Darling said the U.S. plan does not do enough to stop banks' risky financial behavior from spreading to the entire system.  He called for more coordinated action among the world's powers.

Some information  for this report provided by AP and Reuters.