Page last updated at 09:25 GMT, Thursday, 2 October 2008 10:25 UK

French minister knocks Irish move


Christine Lagarde on the global financial crisis

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has become the latest European politician to criticise the Republic of Ireland's bank guarantee move.

With Ireland due to pass a law safeguarding all deposits in its six largest banks, Ms Lagarde said other nations should have had advance notice.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Lagarde also denied France wanted to set up a Europe-wide banking rescue fund.

Brussels is studying the competition implications of Ireland's move.

Separately, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has invited his European counterparts for talks in France this weekend on the continuing financial crisis.

'Share in advance'

There have been complaints that Dublin's move gives its banks an unfair advantage over foreign competitors because it makes them more attractive to nervous investors.

When something happens in one member state it affects everybody else around
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde

As a result there have been a number of reports of people in the UK switching their funds from British banks to Irish institutions.

Ms Lagarde said "a measure decided in one [European Union] member state has to be shared in advance with other member states".

"Because when something happens in one member state it affects everybody else around, so there needs to be that level of cross-sharing of information," she added.

European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said on Wednesday that she urged national governments "not to act unilaterally".

"It is a must," she said.

While the Republic of Ireland is currently the only European Union nation to guarantee all bank deposits, Brussels requires that all member states offer a minimum protection of 20,000 euros ($28,100; 15,800).

The UK government has indicated that it plans to raise its own deposit guarantees to 50,000 from the current 35,000 limit.

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