Obama: Eurozone 'must focus on jobs and growth'


President Obama: "All the leaders here today agreed growth and jobs must be our top priority"

US President Barack Obama has said there is an "emerging consensus" that European countries must now focus on jobs and growth.

Speaking after the G8 summit of some of the world's leading economies, he said the US was confident that Europe can meet its challenges.

President Obama said leaders had made good progress on a range of issues.

In addition the eurozone crisis, they discussed Iran, Afghanistan and global energy supply.

The leaders of France, Germany, the US, the UK, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia met at Camp David in the US state of Maryland.

G8 leaders at Camp David (19 May) Obama said the meeting had been a success

In an earlier communique, G8 leaders committed themselves to promoting growth alongside fiscal responsibility and affirmed that they wanted Greece to stay in the eurozone.

The BBC's Paul Adams at Camp David says both that communique and Mr Obama's speech showed the US and French position had won out over Germany and Britain's pro-austerity stance.

Energy worries

Leaders attending the summit addressed a number of issues, including energy security, climate change and the situation in Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea.

There was discussion of a broad release of national oil reserves to steady shaky energy markets when tough new sanctions on Iran's oil exports kick in.

President Obama also announced that they had formed a new alliance to focus on food security with African leaders and the private sector.

The focus, however, remained on the crisis in the eurozone.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the summit, President Obama said: "As all of the leaders here today agree, growth and jobs must be our top priority."

Emphasising that the United States had taken this approach to its own financial crisis, he said he was "confident" that European countries were moving in the right direction.

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Mr Cameron and Mr Obama, outside the eurozone but in mortal peril if it spirals deeper in crisis, are demanding urgent, dramatic and speedy action. ”

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But he acknowledged that the European situation was "more complicated" than America's. Earlier, the G8 leaders said "the right measures are not the same for each of us".

In a statement, the group said it agreed "on the importance of a strong and cohesive eurozone for global stability and recovery, and we affirm our interest in Greece remaining in the eurozone while respecting its commitments".

The global economic recovery was showing signs of progress, they said, but "significant headwinds persist".

For its part, the EU welcomed the G8 communique with its dual emphasis on boosting growth and jobs.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said both growth-boosting measures and efforts to restore public finance were needed.

"Opposing the two is a false debate," said they said in a joint statement.

Leaders will now turn their thoughts to Afghanistan, as President Obama and other heads of government travel to Chicago for a Nato summit on Sunday.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 996.

    991 Uncle Sam.
    Actually, yes. I have known what it is to be grindingly poor. I was brought up on a state pension and had to find my own way in life and I can empathise with everyone.

    What I don't understand is that people in the same situation feel they should have everything that everyone else has. I agree about the consumer crap we are persuaded to buy, but we keep on buying it regardless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 995.

    I suppose I should feel lucky that my youngest is too young to know about the global financial crisis, my eldest is a typical teenager who finds it rather boring. Meanwhile, like many people, we all sit in the middle as all the pros and cons of Investment versus Austerity flies too and fro. We need to say enough is enough and demand that the government creates a balanced economy, not just cuts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 994.

    @Jeffrey Fourmile- agent provacteur or just in it for the sport? either way it's v amusing!

  • rate this

    Comment number 993.

    Real jobs and real growth can only come from the private sector. Both Europe and the US fail to recognize this, with predictable consequences.

  • rate this

    Comment number 992.

    Economies must focus on jobs and growth? Isn't that a bit .. obvious? Its really code for governments must spend more, which is really code for governments must borrow more. It avoids saying the urgent situation is brought about by unrepayable debt. I might suggest "more jobs" isn't exactly a helpful contribution. Politicians are forever saying "We must have more nice things and less bad things!"

  • Comment number 991.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 990.

    On Greece, Ken Clarke added that electing "cranky extremists" would worsen the situation.

    He is right and we in the UK need to be careful not to re-elect our equivalent, which is the Labour party.

  • rate this

    Comment number 989.

    @ 986. sjov
    Pfff, running out of ideas already? Attacking me on typos now? You are revealing yourself as an unimaginative simpleton quicker than DC can ask Obama "How high?". Apologies if this is a bit too clever for you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 988.

    The quintessence of positive discrimination, hypocrisy, and downright deception; Barak Obama,

    The epitome of narcism and tyranny; Angela Merkel.

    My skin would be crawling if I were American or German right now. I would be pondering spiritually and morally over the very nature of their 21st century 'politics' and how it manifests itself in each person's cognitive rule of general acceptance.

  • Comment number 987.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 986.

    978.Jeffrey Fourmile; I would love to reply ...but your command of English is as poor as the content of your comments! Your blog is not written in legible English ....simple as .....:)
    984.Jeffrey Fourmile; Do you mean you don't think so ?
    Surely a prerequisite to blog here is a BASIC understanding/command of English?

  • rate this

    Comment number 985.

    The current situation is so bad that previous methods of control wont work any more.

    It's obvious that the "traders in misery" (GS & Co) will use any emergency package to shore up synthetic & other hedging instruments to their advantage.

    Maybe the EU was right to call for a financial transaction tax - but this time a crippling one!

    Mr Cameron needs to reflect on his much heralded veto!

  • rate this

    Comment number 984.

    @ 981. sjov:
    Re 978. Jeffrey Fourmile

    I didn't think so.

  • rate this

    Comment number 983.

    People we really must not lose focus on the big picture stop blaming the Tories, or labour that is exactly what the rich and powerful of our world want us to do moaning about our political parties whilst ignoring the real issue’s. Our economy is in the mess it is, because we the people have spent the last 15 years voting people out of the Big Brother house and not parliament.

  • rate this

    Comment number 982.

    963.Formerly Golgotha until I can think of another

    With apologies to Formerly and No_7 I think I've completely lost the plot but hoping for a quick slap on the wrist from my other half followed by paying more attention and google'ing using full text and not omitting to type 'Germany' Must try harder and will do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 981.

    Surely the greatest problem in this situation is .... The Euro.... no EZ land can devalue, therefore we ALL get burnt. For a currency to be a valid unit of exchange it must be able to cope with Good & Bad scenario's ?
    The Euro has failed ...simple as....the designers, instigators and those in political power who forced this currency autocratically on Nation States must be arrested and charged>

  • rate this

    Comment number 980.

    The bleating of fools worshipping at the altar of greed driven capitalism, unable to either manage or control it then complain when the system turns against them.Castigating Germany, a country that has controlled and managed the capitalist system in a just and fair way better than any other European country yet now the scapegoat for all that is going wrong in Europe. We are led by idiots.

  • rate this

    Comment number 979.

    976 Uncle Sam. What is damaging our childrens' futures is the endless "I want it and I want it now" that has become the norm in our society. A society where

    £100pw = poverty and

    £110pw = poverty with an iPhone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 978.

    975. sjov
    941.Jeffrey Fourmile; Or else Greece goes upside down and the World as you know it will change for ever.....SIMPLE like your imbecilic comment!
    Do you have any idea of you own that doesn't parrot every uninformed cliche spouting doom-monger's burp or did just post this pretense comment to crowbar in an insult.

  • rate this

    Comment number 977.

    975. sjov

    That's not very nice... is it?

    I suggest you apologize to Jeffrey Fourmile if you wish to be taken seriously.


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