EU chiefs confront markets crisis

The past week has seen huge losses on global stock markets

The 15 eurozone leaders are to meet in Paris to try to establish a common approach to the financial crisis.
France's finance minister said their meeting would "follow up and execute upon" a five-point plan agreed by the group of seven industrialised nations.
It comes amid reports that France is planning to introduce a bank rescue scheme on Monday.
The plan appears to be similar to the UK plan, involving recapitalisation as well as loan guarantees.
'Systemic meltdown'
"We need a law to put in place a state guarantee and an organ that will be charged with raising funds to help banks deal with their need to recapitalise," Gilles Carrez, a senior member of the parliamentary finance committee told AFP news agency.
Also on Sunday, Portugal's finance minister announced a 20bn euro ($27bn; £16bn) state guarantee for banks.
Earlier, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned the world's financial system was teetering on the brink of systemic meltdown.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn said rich states had failed to restore confidence, but endorsed the new action plan by the G7 group and said the IMF was ready to lend to countries in dire need of capital.
Both officials were speaking in Washington after meetings of the IMF and G7.
Intensifying concerns
France, Germany and Italy have already signed up to some key objectives agreed by the G7 on Friday.
Many commentators welcomed the aims but called for a rapid move to fill in the details, says the BBC's economics correspondent Andrew Walker.

Ahead of Sunday's eurozone meeting, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they would present a number of proposals to ease the credit freeze that has caused the collapse of several leading international banks.
But after meeting in Paris on Saturday, the two leaders said the summit would not result in a joint financial rescue fund for Europe, in the model of a recent $700bn rescue by the US government.
Chancellor Merkel said governments must "redirect the markets so they serve the people, and not ruin them".
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is due to hold talks with Mr Sarkozy ahead of the eurozone summit, having promised Britain will "lead the way" through the global financial crisis.
As the UK has not adopted the euro, Mr Brown had not been due to take part in the meeting of eurozone leaders but a Downing Street spokesman said the French president had invited him to attend part of it.
The heads of the EU's four biggest economies - Britain, France, Germany and Italy - held a first crisis summit last week, but were split over the need for a common plan.
Meanwhile the British finance minister, Alastair Darling, has said more information about UK proposals will be made public soon.

Strauss-Kahn said rich nations had so far failed to restore confidence

His announcement came amid reports the British government was about to take substantial stakes in several banks.
Analysts say another week of plunging stock markets has focused minds and the real test of this weekend's scramble by world leaders to shore up the international financial system will come once markets reopen on Monday.
In a separate development, Australia has announced it will guarantee all bank deposits for three years.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said his government would also guarantee wholesale funding to Australian banks in an attempt to shore up the ailing financial institutions.
Containable crisis?
Mr Strauss-Kahn was speaking in Washington after talks with US President George W Bush, G7 finance ministers and the World Bank.
Earlier, G7 ministers had released the five-point plan to free up the flow of credit, back efforts by banks to raise money and revive the mortgage market.

George Bush says the US will lead the response to the crisis

"Intensifying solvency concerns about a number of the largest US-based and European financial institutions have pushed the global financial system to the brink of systemic meltdown," said Mr Strauss-Kahn.
He later told a news conference: "The first co-ordination between advanced countries and the rest of the world is now on track."
The IMF chief's strong words reflect a belief that the global financial crisis can be contained, says our correspondent Andrew Walker.
Mr Strauss-Kahn was joined at the White House by finance ministers from the US, Canada, France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Japan, as well as World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
Following talks with the economic leaders, Mr Bush also pledged co-ordinated action, saying it was serious global crisis that demanded a serious global response.
The meeting came a day after Asian, European and US markets continued to panic sell despite rate cuts and cash injections by central banks, amid widespread fears of a global recession.
Late on Friday, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the US planned to invest directly in banks for the first since the 1930s, following a similar UK programme of partial bank nationalisation.
The G7 had earlier not ruled out adopting another part of the British plan - to guarantee borrowing between banks - as they issued their plan in Washington.
The G7 also left the door open to further reductions in interest rates, which six central banks this week jointly cut by half a percentage point.