WRAPUP 5-G20 backs off austerity drive, rejects hard debt cut targets

Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:02pm EDT
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* Russia's Siluanov: G20 agreed on 'soft parameters' on debt

* G20 says 'mindful' of side effects of monetary stimulus

* Euro zone urged to move quickly toward banking union

By Leika Kihara and Paul Eckert

April 19 (Reuters) - Finance leaders of the G20 economies on Friday edged away from a long-running drive toward government austerity in rich nations, rejecting the idea of setting hard targets for reducing national debt in a sign of worries over a sluggish global recovery.

The G20 club of advanced and emerging economies also said it would be watching for negative effects from massive monetary stimulus, such as Japan's - a nod to concerns of developing nations that those policies risk flooding their economies with hot capital and driving up their currencies.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at a news conference that officials from the Group of 20 nations believed overall debt reduction was more important than specific figures.

"We agreed that these would be soft parameters, these would be some kind of strategic objectives and goals which might be amended or adjusted, depending on the specific situations in the national economies," he said.   Continued...