NEW YORK (AFP) — Those responsible for the global financial crisis should be punished, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said, calling for more world leaders to recognize the seriousness of the situation.
"Today millions of people around the world are fearful of losing their nest eggs, their apartments, their savings in banks," Sarkozy said at a dinner Monday where he was awarded the Elie Wiesel Foundation's Humanitarian Award.
"We must provide them with clear answers. Who is responsible for this disaster. That those responsible will be held accountable and punished and that we government leaders will assume our responsibilities," he said without specifying those responsible.
"If we don't speak clearly, we won't create a stable world," he said in front of more than 800 guests including many French and American business leaders.
"Maybe the most helpful thing that could be done today is if world leaders accepted the seriousness of the situation and spoke frankly on these topics about which one should not compromise," said Sarkozy.
The French president has been largely silent since the financial crisis struck Wall Street last week, but was expected to touch on the subject in his speech before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
He plans to speak about instilling morals into capitalism by focusing more on development than speculation, aides to Sarkozy said.
The French president spoke on Monday with Tim Geithner, president of the US Federal Reserve Bank of New York, about the 700-billion-dollar bailout the US Treasury has proposed to Congress to rescue the US financial system.
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