G7 finance ministers reject protectionist measures

The Group of Seven finance ministers are pledging to work together to support growth and employment and strengthen the world's banking system to overcome the worst financial crisis in 50 years. But a draft communique on their two-day meeting obtained by The Associated Press includes a gloomy forecast that sees the severe economic downturn continuing through most of 2009. The ministers who are meeting Saturday in Rome warn that any protectionist measures to boost national economies will only undermine global prosperity. They are also stressing the need to support developing countries to prevent the world's poorest from being the biggest losers in the economic downturn. The draft also endorses the US and British approach to fixing the banking system by recapitalizing banks.