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15bn pounds aid plan

Madrid - Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor, last night won backing from the Group of Seven leading industrial nations for his plan to boost world foreign exchange reserves by pounds 15bn, writes Robert Chote. Developing and former Communist countries would receive pounds 7bn, helping them to cope with balance of payments difficulties.

The G7 finance ministers meeting in Madrid agreed that inflation was under control and unemployment had peaked.

In Washington, Japan's top negotiators said they had struck a partial trade deal with the US, and it was now up to President Clinton to decide whether sanctions were still necessary.