The world’s leading industrial nations called for increased resources for international financial institutions Friday to help prevent the kind of crises that swept Mexico earlier this year.
The leaders of the Group of Seven nations had so little disagreement over the economic portion of their annual summit meeting that they wrapped up 15 minutes ahead of schedule Friday afternoon, giving them a little time to bask in the sunshine along the waterfront of this Canadian seaport.
Much of the communique the leaders agreed to Friday had been drafted long ago at lower levels. Much of it, in fact, had been leaked by a Canadian opposition politician last week. But leaders nevertheless proclaimed it a great step forward in stabilizing the world economy.
“I think it is appropriate that our meeting took place in an office building, because we got a lot done,” said Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, host of this year’s summit, which he had decided would be a pared-down version of past extravaganzas.
“We cannot walk away from our global leadership responsibilities,” President Clinton said. The issues agreed on “will in no small way determine our citizens’ future prosperity and security.”
Hampered by congressional opposition to international bailouts, Clinton was forced to find a way to support increased resources for the International Monetary Fund that the communique called for without involving new congressional appropriations.
The G-7 document itself was vague on how the IMF’s new emergency fund would be financed by member nations.