01 may 2012, 17h25

Canada calls European rescue irresponsible

Picture Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty takes Europeans to task

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has criticized an international effort to help bail out Europe.Mr. Flaherty chides Europeans for asking other nations, some with lower standards of living, to help them when they won't do enough to help themselves. In an opinion piece in the London Telegraph, Mr. Flaherty says Europeans politicians have failed to act adequately, contrasting their approach to the "bold" actions taken by the United States and Canada in response to the 2008-09 financial crisis. Canada was one of the few countries in the G20 last month that took a public and vocal stance against the International Monetary Fund's drive to create a $400 billion fund to backstop eurozone debt.
Ottawa refused to pay its portion when the fund was approved. The U.S. also did not contribute. Canada's decision raised eyebrows in international circles and led to suggestions it had isolated itself from the world's pre-eminent decision-making body with its stands, but Mr. Flaherty flatly denies the charge. He suggests a super-majority in the fund be required to approve major decisions regarding Europe because the continent represents onnly 34 per cent of the total IMF voting members.

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