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Chancellor pushes for EU watchdog

Chancellor Alistair Darling has written to the finance ministers of Europe calling for a continental-watchdog to sanction any countries that breach best standards.

According to the Financial Times, Darling has written to ministers as Brussels prepares to reveal its plans for a European institution to monitor the systemic risks of European nations’ economic systems, beginning in 2010.

The FT reports that Darling wants a body “with a specific objective to iron out national divergences”.

“In short, it would, over time, become a regulatory authority and a forum in which the effectiveness of national supervisors can be peer reviewed,” he says.

Darling stresses that the new body should not concentrate of “detailed supervisory practices” and should not be able to dictate to national financial regulators, rather just providing an “early warning system” for systemic risk.

Darling’s proposed body will be discussed at this year’s Spring EU Council meeting, which will take place in two weeks.

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