Spain expected to be at summit in US

By: AP
By: AP

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Spain won an invitation to next week's global financial summit after receiving a major boost Friday with France urging the United States to include Madrid, European officials said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, meeting Friday with other European Union leaders, had said he would do his utmost to get Spain into the summit as it "would be difficult to explain that the eighth economy in the world, Spain, cannot sit with the 20 largest economies in the world."

At the so-called G-20 summit of leaders of industrial and developing powers, Europe already is represented by the Big Four - Britain, Germany, France and Italy. The European Commission will also be there.

But Spain also wanted to come, and within hours of Sarkozy's remarks Polish President Lech Kaczynski said Spain would get its wish.

"That means five different states," said Kaczynski, who leads the biggest EU economy from the east. He had voiced disappointment earlier that Poland had not made a similar push for inclusion.

The United States is hosting the meeting and issues invitations.

Europe has often been criticized for being over-represented in international meetings.

Spain has been outspoken in its desire to attend. With globalization and growing economies in Asia, Spain could be fighting its last battle to be recognized as one of the big players.

"That is why it is important for Spain to have a seat at the table because they sense that if they don't get a seat now, they will never get a seat," said Katinka Barysch of the Center for European Reform in London.

Instead, Europe should learn to speak in one voice, without the glut of individual nations represented, she said. "You are not going forward because you need to have fewer European countries, not more. So Spain muscling in there is complicating what we really need to do," she said

There have been complaints from other camps as well.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has criticized the guest list as ignoring what he calls the North-South divide between rich and developing nations.

"I have been reading that Bush has called a meeting in Washington. For presidents, but presidents from the northern hemisphere. It is as if the ones from the south did not exist, as if we had nothing to say," Chavez said Oct. 25. However, Brazil and Argentina are both attending as representatives of the emerging economies in the G-20.

In Cuba, Fidel Castro suggests the proper forum for reforming the global financial system is the United Nations, not Washington.

"There is a lot of fear that the wealthiest countries in the world, meeting with a small group of emerging nations enduring the financial crisis, might end up adopting a new Bretton Woods without any regard to the rest of the world," Castro wrote in an essay published Oct. 27 in the Cuban newspaper Granma.

---

Associated Press Writer Daniel Woolls contributed to this article from Madrid.

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email: feedback@wibw.com
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 34125534 - wibw.com/a?a=34125534