World economic crisis casts shadow over Ibero-American summit 2008-10-31 12:15:17   Print

Special Report: Global Financial Crisis

    SAN SALVADOR, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The theme of this year's Ibero-American summit being held here, "Youth and Development," was overshadowed at Thursday's plenary session by the global economic crisis.

    Worries over financial problems topped the agenda as participants at the session reflected on the current economic crisis.

    "It is the failure of a model established at the end of the 80s,which dominated the international stage during the 90s, known as neo-liberalism or Washington Consensus," said Argentine President Cristina Fernandez.

    Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Ibero-American countries must provide an international answer to contribute to the new international financial order, which should incorporate control and transparency mechanisms.

    "The international financial system must be useful for the economy, not for speculation and greed," Zapatero said.

    Zapatero urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to boost the world economy and help mitigate the economic crisis with stable policies, better control and transparency.

    President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil called for voice of the poorest countries to be heard under the new global economic order.

    This new order must be balanced by "international coordination" and it must take developing countries into account, because that is the only way it will be fair, said Lula.

    Bolivian President Evo Morales echoed Lula, saying that the current economic crisis is a crisis of capitalism, and called for a "more democratic economy."

    Morales criticized the "capitalist system" and said it should take responsibility for the crisis in the economic, food and environmental sectors.

    When experts talk about tackling the financial crisis, they refer to saving capitalism, but that is not the solution, said Morales. "The financial problems are due to capitalism," he reiterated.

    Before the plenary session convened, the general secretary of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, said the countries of the region are reaching consensus on combating the impact of the international financial crisis.

    "This shows the need to establish a new international financial order," he said.

    The three-day 18th Ibero-American summit is due to end Friday with the signing of some agreements, including the Ibero-American Cooperation and Integration Plan for Youth.

Editor: Wang Hongjiang
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