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 Obama: G-20 Leaders Made ‘Important Progress’

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PostSubject: Obama: G-20 Leaders Made ‘Important Progress’   Obama: G-20 Leaders Made ‘Important Progress’ I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 04, 2011 11:44 am

President Barack Obama said leaders of the Group of 20 nations have made “important progress” toward putting the global economic recovery on firmer footing even as growth in the U.S. remains too slow.

“The world faces challenges that put our economic recovery at risk,” Obama said at a news conference today in Cannes, France, where he’s wrapping up a summit among the G-20 leaders.

Obama’s post-summit news conference focused primarily on domestic concerns. The president said he hopes Labor Department data that showed job growth fell to 80,000 in October even as the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 9 percent from 9.1 percent in September prompts Congress to act on his tax and spending proposals aimed at spurring hiring.

“There’s no excuse for inaction,” he said. “That’s true globally and it’s certainly true back home right now.”

The debt crisis in Europe and the struggle to come up with a rescue plan for Greece overshadowed G-20 efforts to promote growth. Stocks slid as a disagreement emerged at the G-20 on boosting the International Monetary Fund’s resources.

The reluctance of the leaders of the world’s biggest economies to immediately channel funds to the euro area reflects frustration with Europe’s failure to end a crisis that sparked again this week, with Greece’s government lurching towards collapse and Italy facing intensifying pressure to restore fiscal order.
‘Difficult Choices’

Obama said Europe is working to resolve the debt crisis and bring stability to Greece, adding that “more difficult choices” lie ahead.

“What we’ve seen is all the elements for dealing with the crisis put in place, and we think those are the right elements,” he said. Financial markets are looking for a “strong signal” from European governments that they are standing firmly behind the euro.

“The European political leadership, understands how much of a stake they have in making sure that this crisis is resolved, that the euro zone remains intact,” Obama said.

While in Cannes, Obama held separate meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, leaders of Europe’s two biggest economies and the drivers of attempts to win agreement on a rescue plan.
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