June 26, 2010 / 12:13 AM / in 7 years

Factbox: Developments in G8, G20 summits in Canada

(Reuters) - Here are some developments as leaders of the Group of Eight advanced economies and Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies meet in Canada.


* The world’s richest economies, loaded with debt after spending their way out of the financial crisis, papered over differences on how to clean up their finances with minimal damage to growth.


* The United States appeared at odds with Germany in the run-up to the summits. U.S. officials expressed concerns a nascent recovery from the global recession could be derailed by accelerating austerity in much of Western Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, however, that the G8 talks had not produced any conflict over economic policy. 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.


* Obama said during G8 talks that bank capital was the “key” to strengthening the global financial system, a senior administration official said.

* 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.


Some 2,000 protesters demonstrated in Toronto in the biggest rally yet against the G20 summit, facing off against police in riot gear just blocks from the U.S. Consulate.


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 with out stifling growth.

* “We will promote this issue (global bank tax) at the summit once again. Not only industrial countries are very skeptical 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.

* “No one knows for certain how the post-crisis world economy will look like. It is my opinion that we will enter a phase of jobless and low economic growth,” South Korean Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun.

* “Police are the shock troops of austerity -- don’t be afraid, don’t be intimidated,” labor activist at G20 protest in Toronto.

Compiled by Peter Cooney

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