16 January 2004, 16:54  France's Mer says G7 must act responsibly

PARIS, Jan 16 - French Finance Minister Francis Mer said on Friday the Group of Seven leading industrial countries must act responsibly at a meeting in Florida next month and that foreign exchange imbalances were an important issue for all of them. Asked if currency instability could be tackled by the G7, Mer said: "It is clear that the meeting in Florida in February will be interesting because nobody can question that there are several cases of imbalances, which matter to us all and which matter to the organisation of exchanges (deletes reference to rates) between our zones."
"Thus, we all have an interest in talk to each other in a responsible way and we will see what comes out of the meeting," Mer told reporters. Mer, who has repeatedly expressed concern about the euro's strength against the U.S. dollar, said earlier on Friday that the United States must reduce deficits to make economic growth more sustainable.//

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