World summit gets underway as split between EU and US intensifies

Joanna Impey
Reuters via Deutsche Welle

The G8 summit of the world’s biggest economies has opened in Toronto as German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepared to defend European austerity measures in the face of growing criticism from Washington.

The meeting of eight leading economies got underway in Toronto on Friday amid growing tensions between Europe and the US on how best to fend off a second global recession. Some European states have launched sweeping budget cuts in recent weeks in a bid to convince markets, and their own voters, of their stability. But US officials are concerned that too much zeal in making cuts could hamper growth later.

US President Barack Obama insists that national economic policies must focus on bolstering the recovery, rather than immediately tackling deficits.

“This weekend in Toronto I hope we can build on this progress by coordinating our efforts to promote economic growth, to pursue financial reform, and to strengthen the global economy,” Obama said at the White House on Friday.

Germany defends austerity measures

German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted that G8 members should start to cut their deficit immediately, despite fears that this could kill the global recovery.

“It is time to reduce the deficits. Europe has experienced what it means to have too big deficits,” she told journalists on arrival at the summit…

…Berlin has support in Europe…

The article continues at Deutsche Welle.

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