French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said French President Nicolas Sarkozy won't sign onto an agreement if it does not include more stringent global financial regulation than either the United States or the United Kingdom want.
The G20 is seen as a crucial opportunity for world leaders to coalesce around a coordinated strategy for dealing with the economic crisis, a prospect threatened by the prospect of France walking away from the table.
Together with Spain, the Czech Republic and Germany, France is also resisting President Obama's push for governments to inject money into their economy through a stimulus package similar to the one that recently passed in the United States.
A potential compromise could lie in the European governments agreeing to some degree of stimulus in exchange for the U.S. agreeing to somewhat stricter regulation.
The Wall Street Journal reports that spokesman Franck Louvrier said Sarkozy is "determined to achieve concrete results" and suggested the French president has not made a threat to walk away.