Saturday, June 23, 2018

G-8 leaders put focus on European financial crisis

CAMP DAVID, Md. — Leaders of the world's economic powers say Germany should balance its push for European fiscal austerity with doses of stimulus spending to avoid a financial calamity with global repercussions.

The Group of Eight leaders, meeting over the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat, are trying to figure out how to tame Europe's debt crisis while also increasing the demand for goods and spurring job growth.

In talks Saturday, President Barack Obama and leaders of Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Britain, Russia, and Japan were looking to build consensus even though a decisive plan of action seemed out of reach right now.

The G-8 session sets the stage for a far more consequential European summit next week in Chicago where the countries that share the euro as their currency hope to come together on specific steps to fight rising debt while spurring a recovery.

Obama established the tone for the G-8 on Friday after meeting with just-elected French President Francois Hollande, when he said the aim of the summit was to promote both fiscal consolidation and a "strong growth agenda."

The two leaders, Obama said "agree that this is an issue of extraordinary importance not only to the people of Europe but also to the world economy."

In a hint of the pressures facing the leaders, Obama greeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Camp David and asked her how she was. Merkel, facing resistance over her austerity push, shrugged.

"Well, you have a few things on your mind," Obama said.

A central economic topic, though hardly the only one confronting Europe, is the fate of Greece. That country is facing the most acute financial crisis of the eurozone and is set to hold elections June 17 to end political deadlock. At issue is whether Greece abandons the euro to escape austerity measures.

Hollande, after meeting with Obama at the White House, said, "We share the same views, the fact that Greece must stay in the eurozone and that all of us must do what we can to that effect."

Also on the agenda is energy as the world looks to the oil markets in advance of fresh penalties set to take effect on Iranian oil exports. While oil prices have been falling, major oil importing countries, including the United States, are keeping a wary eye on prices and keeping open the possibility of tapping their own oil reserves.

For Obama, Europe's fate is critical to his own political survival. An economic recession that spreads to the United States could damage an already slow recovery and boost the argument by his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, that the U.S. economy needs new leadership.

Comments
Oldsmar cheer coach faces new sexual battery charges

Oldsmar cheer coach faces new sexual battery charges

An Oldsmar cheerleading coach charged this week with sending explicit images to a minor now faces additional sexual battery charges.Victor Martin Valenty, 28, is accused of having "inappropriate sexual activity" with a 15-year-old at his home for mor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pro-EU protesters march in London, demand new vote on Brexit

Pro-EU protesters march in London, demand new vote on Brexit

Tens of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters are marching in London to demand a new referendum on leaving the European Union, as a divided Britain marks the second anniversary of its vote to quit the bloc
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 10:47 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 10:47 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
Kickoff: Tiny Panama stands in way of England advancing

Kickoff: Tiny Panama stands in way of England advancing

For an England team that came to the World Cup with reduced expectations, things are setting up nicely
Updated: 1 hour ago
Far from Southwest, children of workplace raids await fate

Far from Southwest, children of workplace raids await fate

Workplace immigration raids leave US-born children of immigrants with uncertain fate
Updated: 1 hour ago

Blast as Zimbabwe president campaigns; Mnangagwa not hurt

Blast as Zimbabwe president campaigns in opposition city; Mnangagwa reportedly unhurt
Updated: 1 hour ago
Migrants denied access to lawyers, held in cells 23 hours a day, ACLU lawsuit alleges

Migrants denied access to lawyers, held in cells 23 hours a day, ACLU lawsuit alleges

After crossing the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum, 123 men have been detained for weeks, caged in prison cells for up to 23 hours per day and denied access to attorneys at a federal detention center in Sheridan, Oregon, a lawsuit filed Friday by t...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Mauresmo to replace Noah as France's Davis Cup captain

Former top-ranked Amelie Mauresmo will become the first woman to captain France's Davis Cup men's team when she replaces Yannick Noah next season
Updated: 1 hour ago
Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder, drummer of Pantera, dies at 54

Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of metal band Pantera, has died at 54.
Updated: 1 hour ago
Israelis, Palestinians await William's inaugural royal visit

Israelis, Palestinians await William's inaugural royal visit

Prince William is set to arrive in Israel and the Palestinian territories this week for the first official visit of a member of the British royal family.
Updated: 1 hour ago