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Obama and Merkel agree: austerity and growth

The Local · 20 May 2012, 13:45

Published: 20 May 2012 13:45 GMT+02:00

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Obama and Merkel held one-on-one talks after a two-day G8 summit at the US president's retreat in Camp David, Maryland, that was marked by competing views on how to bring the Europe's sickly economy back to life.

The president, who faces US voters concerned about the economy ahead of November elections, has pushed Europeans to put growth on top of the agenda but the German leader has championed austerity to combat the eurozone debt crisis.

But after the Merkel-Obama talks, a White House official said there was an understanding that the push for growth was "not to take the place of fiscal reform," but that the two go "in tandem."

"There's a growing recognition of the need to take steps in the immediate term that can promote growth in the eurozone... and also pursue the fiscal consolidation that Chancellor Merkel and others have been focused on," White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters.

The leaders had discussed not just steps to carry out structural reforms in the eurozone, but also measures "that could be taken one top of that to promote growth and help stabilize the situation," he said.

Merkel and Obama later headed to Chicago for a Nato summit taking place Sunday and Monday.

G8 leaders papered over deep-seated divisions about how best to tackle the eurozone crisis at the Camp David summit as they voiced their wish to see Greece remain in the single currency area.

Obama said at Camp David that the G8 leaders, who included heads of state and government of France, Britain, Japan, Russia, Italy and Canada, agreed that "growth and jobs must be our top priority."

Story continues below…

EU leaders hold a summit in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss ways to kick-start the economy, with new French President Francois Hollande pushing for growth to become the new focus.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:23 May 20, 2012 by Englishted
"growth and jobs must be our top priority."

I agree you don't come out of this without growth on heaven forbid war.

History has shown us that and belt tightening will lead to extremism and totalitarianism circa 1930s Europe.
14:40 May 20, 2012 by Eastard
Please keep Obama and send USA Merkel...
16:30 May 20, 2012 by marimay
Taking jobs and growth advice from obama, now that is hilarious!
17:38 May 20, 2012 by smart2012
I think article title is wrong. Obama, monti and hollande agree on ...., merkel has to follow :)
17:38 May 20, 2012 by marimay
Yeah, there sure are a lot of manboobs in that pic.
19:53 May 20, 2012 by bluestratus
yep, austerity 4 us...but not for politicians, bankers, buisnessmen.......
20:10 May 20, 2012 by catjones
Chango Mutney...it's called 'casual'. Typical attire at Camp David.

marimay...actually, both have been gradually improving for years. I know, I know, those dreaded facts.

bluestratus...become a politician, banker or businessperson and live the life of luxury. All politicians are crooks, all bankers greedy and all business people dishonest. Simple world, eh?
20:36 May 20, 2012 by marimay
That both have been gradually improving for years is hardly a fact. And if true, hardly impressive.
04:05 May 21, 2012 by IchBinKönig
what a joke, advice from the one term President to quite possibly the most despised woman in all of Europe.
06:35 May 21, 2012 by melbournite
what they mean of course is austerity for us and growth for them and their rich mates
21:06 May 21, 2012 by Englishted

1: I would bet he wins again.

2: Maggie Thatcher is not dead yet.


Was it ever thus .
16:30 May 26, 2012 by libsarescum
Why is Merkel even talking to the kenyan communist? The only thing that the kenyan knows how to "grow" are government and debt, besides his ego, of course.
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