- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday praised President Obama’s health care overhaul, called his push for stricter financial regulations “great news” and, standing alongside Mr. Obama at the White House, said he hopes their administrations can team up “to go even further in regulating world capitalism.”

Mr. Sarkozy, a fierce advocate for tougher rules on global financial markets, said France will use its position next year as leader of a group of the world’s top finance ministers to push for a new economic regulatory regime.

“During the French presidency of the G-20, [Treasury Secretary] Tim Geithner, [French Finance Minister] Christine Lagarde are going to be working hand-in-glove in order to go even further in regulating world capitalism, and in particular, raising the issue of a new world international monetary order,” Mr. Sarkozy told French and American reporters gathered at the White House in a brief joint appearance.

For his part, Mr. Obama said world leaders must take actions to ensure that “reckless speculation or reckless risk-taking by a few big players in the financial markets will never again threaten the global economy or burden taxpayers.”

“I will continue to work with President Sarkozy and other world leaders to coordinate our efforts, because we want to make sure that whatever steps were taking, they are occurring on both sides of the Atlantic,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Sarkozy also took a moment to tell his host “how glad” France is for the U.S. that Mr. Obama’s health-care legislation passed.