Merkel renews hedge fund transparency call before London talks
( dpa ) - Chancellor Angela Merkel Saturday renewed her longstanding call for greater transparency in world financial markets, although she insisted the current turbulence on world stock exchanges should not give rise to pessimism in Germany.
Speaking in her weekly podcast message, Merkel said financial market transparency would be a key theme of the meeting of European leaders called by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London on Tuesday.
"The lesson from the turbulence must be more transparency in financial instruments," Merkel said.
During its presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) last year, Germany had lobbied intensively for more openness, particularly in the controversial hedge fund financial sector, she said.
Merkel acknowledged she had had little success initially in pressing the issue, but went on to say that global awareness had since increased that new rules needed to be established.
Alternatively, the hedge fund sector had to enter into a voluntary code of conduct to react to the new challenges, she said.
The chancellor insisted that Germany's economic prospects remained good in 2008, with growth still strong, although lower than in 2006-07, order books full and unemployment falling.
She predicted also that German workers would secure an increase in real wages this year after years of restraint that have seen a decline in disposable income.
Brown has invited the European G8 leaders to London, along with EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Apart from Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and embattled Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi are attending.