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Villiger welcomes efforts to reduce international debt

Villiger said the global economy was on the road to recovery


The Swiss finance minister, Kaspar Villiger, has welcomed a plan of action to better deal with international debt crises during the spring session of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Villiger described the proposed measures aimed at saving developing nations from insolvency as a "breakthrough," but warned that such a complex programme required years of planning.

During Saturday's IMF meeting and separate talks between ministers and central bank governors from the Group of Seven major industrialized nations in Washington, officials also agreed to intensify efforts to combat terrorist financing.

The president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, was also expected to announce a new development programme for education to get all children into primary school by 2015 on Sunday. Some 125 million children, many of them in the world's poorest nations, do not go to school.

Road to recovery

Villiger also expressed confidence that the world's economy was on the mend following the "mild recession" in the United States and the attacks of September 11.

However, finance officials acknowledged that rising oil prices and Argentina's economic woes threatened the fledgling global recovery.

swissinfo with agencies

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