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US global influence has declined – Swedish Finance Minister, Anders Borg

Sunday, 22 April 2012
Over the weekend it was eminent that the world's richest countries would inject new billion to the IMF, but the U.S. stood outside and did not move a muscle.
“It undermines U.S. influence in the fund and the world economy,” said Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg.

The Euro crisis was highest on the agenda at this weekend's spring meeting in Washington when the world's most powerful finance ministers and central bankers gathered.
“The tougher parts of the discussions are focused on Europe and the uncertainty of the Spanish banking system,” says Anders Borg in a telephone press conference on Sunday.

On Friday G-20 group of countries promised a grant of over 430 billion dollars to strengthen the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so that it can boost it crisis fund, which exceeds the 400 billion dollars that the IMF chief Christine Lagarde had previously requested.

Among the countries that made the strongest contribution were developing countries such as China and Russia. But the U.S. has not made any new commitment to the IMF.

“Historically, it had been the United States which had stepped forward and took the leadership in this process and had the opportunity to add resources. It undermined U.S. influence in the fund and the world economy. The country is no longer the only superpower that it has been for many decades,” says Borg.

The biggest donors are among euro area countries which together have pledged $ 200 billion to the fund.
Sweden has offered the IMF an extra supply of 10 billion dollars.

“The Nordic and Baltic countries have had the strength to rise up to this challenge. For a small country like Sweden, it is important to emphasize that we are part of the world economy. We still have muscles to take action.”

“Sweden is held up as a role model,” says Borg, who on Monday will give a lecture at The Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington on fiscal consolidation and the Swedish experience.
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