Reuters | Sat Jun 26, 2010 | 5:24am IST
U.S. President Barack Obama urged world leaders to follow Washington’s lead on regulatory reform while other countries touted their swifter progress in tackling huge debt loads that threaten the global recovery.
DEFICIT REDUCTION/STIMULUS TENSIONS
G8 leaders have agreed on the need to stay focused on immediate growth goals while tackling public finances "going forward," a senior U.S. official said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron downplayed the divisions between the United States and Europe on the issue, but said smoothing out imbalances between export-rich countries and debt-laden consumer economies would also require belt-tightening by Washington.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the United States during G8 discussions did not take an opposing view on Europe’s deficit reduction policy.
Merkel vowed to proceed with Europe’s plan for a global bank tax to pay for bank failures, but said talks with other G8 leaders stiffened her impression that others did not share the European position.
The United States and Britain pressed other rich nations to live up to their aid promises to the world’s poorest as they seek new ways to help poorer nations although their own budgets are squeezed.
Toronto police agreed to amend their guidelines for THE use of controversial sound cannon for crowd control at the G20 summit after a judge said protesters may suffer hearing damage from the proposed use of the device at certain distances and volumes.
The leaders of Britain and Germany plan to take time off from the talks for Sunday’s England-Germany World Cup match that could test their alliance as much as any financial dispute.
"We need to act in concert for a simple reason: this crisis proved and events continue to affirm that our national economies are inextricably linked," Obama.
"Do we need to deal with the imbalances between the big surplus countries, like China and the big deficit countries like America and us? Yes we do need to deal with these imbalances and that is what President Obama is speaking about," Britain’s Cameron.
"We will be pushing very hard for the greatest stimulus of all, which is free trade," Cameron.
"If there’s a fire, we all know what to do. We get a hose, we get a pail of water, spit on it, throw Coca Cola on it or whatever to put it out. Right now the fire’s over. We saved the house, mostly, but you’ve got to paint it, plaster it, whatever," OECD chief Angel Gurria on the need to cut debt without stifling growth.
"We will promote this issue (global bank tax) at the summit once again. Not only industrial countries are very sceptical about that, but also some emerging market countries," Merkel.
"We have to say today we have not met all the commitments," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on missed aid promises to the world’s poorest nations.
"Police are the shock troops of austerity — don’t be afraid, don’t be intimidated," labor activist at G20 protest in Toronto.