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Berlusconi: G8 won't write new finance rules
Updated: 2009-07-04 14:02

ROME: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi played down on Friday any prospect of the G8 meeting in Italy next week agreeing new rules for global finance, saying the summit will be just "one step" in a long process.

"We will need many steps before we arrive at a common rulebook," said Berlusconi, who will host the July 8-10 meeting of the Group of Eight rich nations in the central town of L'Aquila.

"L'Aquila is one step towards further analysis," he told reporters.

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Berlusconi has said several times that the L'Aquila meeting of world leaders will be "The Summit of Rules", but his latest remarks suggest that concrete decisions on financial and economic regulation are unlikely to materialise.

Italy has been trying to focus its year-long G8 presidency on the adoption of a new "Legal Standard", a set of internationally-accepted rules for propriety and transparency in finance, business, trade and fiscal policy.

Critics point out that rules and guidelines already exist in most of these areas and the difficulty lies in having them enforced, not in drawing them together into a single document.

Some policymakers have also warned of a risk of overlap on financial regulation with the work of the Financial Stability Board.

This body - made up of regulators, government officials and central bankers - has already been tasked with finding long-term solutions to the global financial crisis.

G8 finance ministers last month approved the so-called Lecce Framework, a document of some 70 pages on the Legal Standard, which will submitted to the G8 leaders at L'Aquila.

If the Lecce Framework is approved at next week's summit the document is likely to be passed, with any amendments, to a meeting of the broader G20 nations in Pittsburgh in September.