G-7 finance ministers set stage for changes

Sunday, June 16, 2002

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Expressing confidence in the global economy, the finance ministers of the world's industrial powers said Saturday their bosses will discuss a new relationship between developed and developing countries at an upcoming summit.

As the two-day meeting of finance ministers concluded, riot police fired tear gas to disperse several dozen protesters outside the convention center and arrested 19 people in confrontations at four locations.

Sgt. Don Spicer of the Halifax Regional Police said protesters threw bottles, buckets and one "flaming object" at police.

No injuries were reported in scuffling between police and protesters complaining about the closed meeting and seeking the Western governments to commit money for worldwide development programs.

Any such announcement of major new funding will come at a summit of the leaders of the world seven most industrialized nations plus Russia. The summit is being held June 26-27 in Kananaskis, Alberta.

The finance ministers instead worked on details of reforms for development aid programs, discussed the health of the world economy and economic trouble spots such as Argentina.

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