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French president says world expects action at G-20

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he won't accept a "false compromise" from world leaders at the G-20 summit in London and left open the possibility of walking out of the meeting if this were the case.

world Updated: Apr 01, 2009 16:35 IST

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he won't accept a "false compromise" from world leaders at the G-20 summit in London and left open the possibility of walking out of the meeting if this were the case.

"I will not be a part of a summit that concludes with a statement of false compromises, which doesn't deal with the problems we face," Sarkozy said in an interview broadcast live on Europe-1 radio early on Wednesday.

Asked if he might leave the talks before the end, Sarkozy said "the 'empty chair' policy would represent the failure of the summit. I don't want to believe it will come to that."

The Group of 20 summit meeting on Thursday, bringing together rich and developing nations, aims to grapple for the second time in five months with the world financial crisis. An initial meeting in Washington was convened, notably under pressure from the French president, on Nov 15.

Sarkozy said preparations for the London summit had been difficult, and "as it stands We're not there yet." Sarkozy said he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with whom he spoke yesterday evening, were in agreement on this point.

"Today, there is no stable agreement," Sarkozy said. "The G-20 begins this evening.I know from experience that it's going to be necessary to struggle until the last minute."

Sarkozy reiterated calls for stricter oversight of tax havens and the compensation of financial traders and speculative funds.