G20’s Family Feud to See Summit Fall Flat‏

19 Jun

Photo by: Wikipedia

JUST like every other family, the G20 has its tiffs.

But, as any Sopranos fan will tell you, some families are more  powerful than others.
The global summit – being held in the beachside resort city of  Los Cabos – is under intense pressure to drive action on the debt  crisis in Europe and the United States.
But as the first day of the two-day summit drew to an end,  leaders and officials were talking down the prospect  of anything  more than a statement on future directions or a “roadmap”.
What appears likely is a “Los Cabos Action Plan”, similar to  that issued  after the Cannes summit in 2011, in which individual  countries made  broad commitments to tackle issues.
There’s a sharp divide between the Europeans, the British, the  Americans and the rest.
British PM David Cameron is holding little back in his criticism  of the eurozone governments, raising fears of the region slipping  into  “perpetual stagnation or break up”.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard  has been a little more cautious but  still urging eurozone nations to  cut their deficits and do what  they can to stimulate growth and jobs –  not an easy balancing act  especially for countries like Greece.
China, India and Indonesia are frustrated that some of their  biggest export markets can’t get it together.
US President Barack Obama stated the obvious when he said the  world was  “very concerned” about the slowing of growth and now was  the time to  stabilise the world financial system.
The attacks are starting to bite, but may not necessarily lead  to action.
German chancellor Angela Merkel, Italy’s Mario Monti and  European Commission  chief Jose Manuel Barroso were on the defensive  as they entered the  summit.
Dr Merkel pointed the finger at Greece, as it negotiated a new  coalition government after Sunday’s elections, saying there would  be no “loosening” of the commitments to economic reform.
Mr  Barroso was blunt about the criticism: “Frankly, we are not  coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of  how to handle  the economy.” Mr Monti argued the EU was not the “only source of the problem”.
“The crisis had its origins in imbalances in other countries,  including the US,” he said.
What looks more certain in terms of a eurozone solution are some  fine words followed by a deferral to coming talks between European  leaders and  finance ministers. Trade issues, which are also a key part of the regular summits,  are also being talked down.
While US President Barack Obama attempted to inject some  confidence into  this policy area by inviting Mexico to join the  Trans-Pacific  Partnership agreement talks – which could lead to one  of the world’s  biggest free trade zones being formed – Cameron was  gloomy about the  rise of protectionism.
He said that since the previous G20 member  nations had put in  place 124 new trade restrictions and no progress has been made on  the Doha trade round.
As expectations of the G20  fall, national leaders could find  themselves looking to other forums,  regional groups and bilateral  deals for better ways to progress jobs  and growth. The Group of 20 accounts for more than 80 per cent of world   trade and production and two-thirds of the world population.
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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in International News


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