Will Europe be the next to undercut its own currency?

Section:

http://www.forbes.com/technology/newswire/2004/02/07/rtr1250574.html

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 7 (Reuters) -- Below is the text issued
by finance ministers and central bankers after their meeting
here Saturday:

* * *

The global economic recovery has strengthened significantly
since our meeting in Dubai and risks have diminished. Growth
projections for 2004 have been revised upward to their highest
in three years. Fiscal and monetary policies have helped bring
about these welcome changes.

Yet much more remains to be done. The pace of growth among
our economies remains uneven. In our Agenda for Growth
initiative, we emphasize supply-side structural policies that
increase flexibility and raise productivity growth and employment.
Today we released a progress report on our Agenda for Growth.
This agenda and sound fiscal policies over the medium term are
key to addressing global current account imbalances. We
outlined strategies for sustained medium-term fiscal
consolidation as economies recover. International trade is vital;
we call for further efforts and for countries to take the steps to
resume the Doha round, which is pivotal to global growth and
the alleviation of world poverty.

We reaffirm that exchange rates should reflect economic
fundamentals. Excess volatility and disorderly movements in
exchange rates are undesirable for economic growth. We
continue to monitor exchange markets closely and
cooperate as appropriate. In this context, we emphasize that
more flexibility in exchange rates is desirable for major
countries or economic areas that lack such flexibility to
promote smooth and widespread adjustments in the
international financial system, based on market
mechanisms.

To combat terrorist financing, we urge all countries to
strengthen their asset freezing regimes and to combat
abuse of the informal financial sector and non-profit
organizations. The IMF/World Bank should make
permanent and comprehensive their assessments of
countries' efforts to combat terrorism.

We are committed to further enhance transparency and
supervisory standards in financial markets, in particular
non-compliant offshore centers.

We have a shared interest in seeing strengthened
economic growth in the greater Middle East. We had a
productive meeting with our counterparts from Afghanistan
and Iraq. We welcome the completion of the currency
exchange in Iraq and the removal of interest rate controls,
and we look forward to the approval of the new central bank
law. We welcome progress on reform and reconstruction in
Afghanistan and the renewed efforts to collect revenues from
the provinces. We call on others to join us in reducing the
debt burdens of Iraq and Afghanistan. We welcome the
plans of the IMF and the World Bank to provide financial
and technical assistance to Iraq and Afghanistan.

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