EU finance ministers swap mobile numbers to solve crises

Other News Materials 7 October 2008 19:50 (UTC +04:00)

The European Union's finance ministers on Tuesday put into immediate practice a call for better coordination during the financial crisis by swapping their personal mobile-phone numbers, diplomats said.

"All ministers have exchanged their mobile phone numbers," Finnish Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen said after the meeting.

The idea was proposed by French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who chaired the meeting of her EU peers in Luxembourg, officials confirmed.

"We saw at the weekend how fast things can change and how much countries need to work together," French sources explained to Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Over the last 10 days Europe has been rocked by the collapse of once-mighty banks such as Fortis and Hypo Real Estate, costing the tax-payer billions of euros in state interventions.

The crisis prompted the EU's heads of state and government on Monday to call for "coordination and close cooperation" between member states.

Those same heads of state and government are set to meet in Brussels on October 15 for a long-planned summit which analysts expect to be dominated by the financial crisis.

Diplomatic sources have so far remained silent on how many of the EU's national leaders have each other's mobile numbers.