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G-8 Leaders End Summit With Pledge To Keep Greece In Euro Zone
2012-05-19 21:44:03 (227 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke
U.S. President Barack Obama and the other G-8 leaders wrapped up their negotiations on the European crisis at Camp David on Saturday with a pledge to keep Greece in the euro zone and to promote growth.

The communique, which had the growth promise at the top, represents a victory for Obama and new French President Francois Hollande over German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has resisted calls for a stimulus package.

But it may be short-lived. The communique was short in detail and Merkel could re-establish her dominance next week at an informal European meeting.

The eight leaders meeting at the U.S. presidential retreat in Maryland issued a communique declaring in its opening paragraph: "Our imperative is to promote growth and jobs."

It added: "The global economic recovery shows signs of promise, but significant headwinds persist. Against this background, we commit to take all necessary steps to strengthen and reinvigorate our economies and combat financial stresses, recognizing that the right measures are not the same for each of us."

The communique was issued after almost four hours devoted to the euro zone crisis, which could have a negative impact on the U.S. economy and President Obama's re-election chances in November.

(story continues below)

President Obama favors Europeans adopting a stimulus package similar to the one he instigated in the U.S. in 2009, as does Hollande. They both also favor keeping the euro zone intact, including Greece, though this may in the end prove difficult.

The communique said: "We welcome the ongoing discussion in Europe on how to generate growth, while maintaining a firm commitment to implement fiscal consolidation to be assessed on a structural basis. We agree on the importance of a strong and cohesive euro zone for global stability and recovery, and we affirm our interest in Greece remaining in the euro zone while respecting its commitments."

After three years of facing European leaders committed to deficit reduction, Obama has a new ally in Hollande. Speaking at Camp David, Hollande said European leaders were trying to balance the competing aims of reining in their budgets while stimulating their economies: "As President Obama noted, we need to pursue these two goals simultaneously: budgetary solvency and maximum growth."

President Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron clashed with Chancellor Merkel on Saturday, demanding she drop her G-8 resistance to setting out a clear path for Europe out of its crisis. Measures resisted by the Germans included a looser monetary policy for the European Central Bank that would enable quantitative easing similar to that deployed by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.

Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Ewen MacAskill in context here:

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