Feb.12 - European finance ministers holding talks ahead of the upcoming G20 meeting in Moscow rejected a call by France to intervene to tackle the strong euro. It came as the G7 tried to cool international tension over exchange rates and the weakening Japanese yen. Joanna Partridge reports
They need to create jobs and growth but a strong euro was top of the agenda in Brussels. EU finance ministers were working on their joint position for the upcoming G20 meeting in Moscow. They said it was up to markets to decide the currency's value, rejecting a call by France for co-ordinated intervention to prevent damage to any economic recovery. Wolfgang Schaueble's the German Finance Minister. SOUNDBITE: Wolfgang Schaeuble, German Finance Minister, saying (German): "There's no foreign exchange problem in Europe. Nobody said that. There are concerns that there could be something like this in other parts of the world." International tensions about exchange rates are running high. But fears of a new currency war concern the yen, not the euro. Japan's new government is pressing for an aggressive expansion of monetary policy, and the yen has weakened as a result. The Group of Seven nations has attempted to calm fears, saying fiscal and monetary policies must not be directed at devaluing currencies. EU Commissioner Olli Rehn welcomed their intervention. SOUNDBITE: Olli Rehn, EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, saying (English): "Exchange volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability, and that is why we need to lean on active international policy co-ordination in order to prevent a wave of competitive devaluation." Closer to home, Cyprus is awaiting a bailout from the euro zone. It needs about 17 billion euros to recapitalise its banking sector and finance the next three years of government spending. The European Commission reassured Cyprus' finance minister it had no plans to force heavy losses on investors. But there are concerns the tiny Mediterranean island may never be able to pay back a bailout - 17 billion is close to its entire annual output..