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Friday, 30 July 2010

European financial markets chief pledges Africa protection

Europe’s top internal markets official, Michel Barnier, has pledged to institute special measures to protect African countries from speculation, which is responsible for the fall in key commodity prices and the rise in food prices. Speaking on his second visit to the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Barnier said he was taking steps aimed at ensuring full transparency in the international markets to protect African producers. The European Internal Markets Commissioner said the African producers of key commodities such as oil, copper, gold and coal, were vulnerable to speculation at the international markets, which affected the prices of the main natural resources from Africa. “This continent is particularly vulnerable to speculations on natural resources and agricultural products, which scale has increased over recent years,” the EU Delegation to the AU said in a statement, quoting Barnier as saying during a meeting. The EU Commissioner met with the African Union Commission President Jean Ping and other senior officials to discuss the global financial crisis, the instability of the financial markets, caused by speculation and other issues affecting trade on African commodities.