Don't focus on IMF, make Europeans solve crisis: Flaherty

Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - G20 ministers should not focus on increasing the International Monetary Fund's resources and should instead keep the pressure on Europe to resolve its debt crisis, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Friday.

Flaherty told reporters in Paris the euro zone's progress toward putting its house in order was "arduous" but that there was hope for a sensible solution.

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"We need to remain focused on the Europeans solving this crisis, and avoid focusing on non-central issues like increasing the resources of the IMF," Flaherty said. "And not everyone agrees."

Some of the BRICs emerging market powers have pushed the idea of more resources for the IMF. The United States, like Canada, is opposed.

Flaherty also said he was "cautiously hopeful" of progress on language about foreign exchange flexibility in a communique resulting from a two-day meeting of G20 finance chiefs.

"I don't think the communique will be a lot different than Washington," Flaherty said. "I'm cautiously hopeful that we can get somewhere on the exchange rate issue ... The idea would be, I hope, to have language in the communique that would express increased flexibility, moderate language."

China and the United States sparred this week over a U.S. Senate bill to press Beijing to raise the yuan's value, and the issue is likely to create a sideshow at the G20 talks, even if the euro zone crisis pushes it off center stage.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer, editing by Mike Peacock)