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 1036.

    "UK ...hopelessly uncompetitive during 60's.."

    The unions got the blame but Britain has a chronically poor management disease
    Cars are the best example

    Our own car firms got wiped out by poor management
    Nowadays various car firms waltz into the UK and using exactly the same workforce they make huge numbers of high quality vehicles

    Those rubbish British managers are now in the Government...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1035.

    "A single 30% rate of income tax is needed in order to boost growth in the UK"

    Good god didn't anyone learn anything from the Poll Tax? If these recommendations were brought in there would be a revolution. The rich have to realise they have access to a well educated, healthy and secure workforce that has infrastructure in place that allows employees to get to work. Why no HYS on this topic?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1034.

    1029.Exile Uncle Sam

    That's something I've always wondered, Would it be cheaper to just demand Gold for your promissory notes and then pay someone to craft something for you or would it be cheaper to just buy it off the market. Looking at those rates... I wonder...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1033.

    "Another politician chucking the 'G' word around as is unhelpful as most politicians anywhere have zero knowldge of how to get 'G'"

    I'm sure I read somewhere that a Gynaecologist had discovered and finally proved the 'G' spot actually exists.

    I'm glad you seem to have made some educational progress

  • rate this

    Comment number 1032.

    20th May 2012 - 19:57
    "UK industries became hopelessly uncompetitive during 60's.."
    Yes they did due to poor investment, focus on quick profits, pathetic, unprofessional management, resulting in poor product quality and poor exports. All aggravated by the fact that engineers were paid a pittance while sales people who didn't understand the basics of sales made a fortune.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1031.

    The patron saint of the EU is Nero

    The EU fiddled while Yugoslavia burned

    The EU fiddles while Greece burns

    The EU will fiddle while the Euro burns

    They're a funny bunch of folk in Brussels

  • rate this

    Comment number 1030.

    1024.Formerly Golgotha until I can think of another
    Do you really think an iPad is worth 18 ounces of gold? That's 559.8g, over half a kilo?

    Probably the bl**ding obvious, but the mark up/margins that are on goods in the UK are massive. The old rule of thumb was 33% mark up and course we now have 20% VAT on top. If you factor into price that it was made in China for a very cheap price=Rip off

  • Comment number 1029.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1028.


    "I notice some are having property booms. Should we warn them or keep quiet?"

    "I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men" - Sir Isaac Newton

    He was rumored to have said this after being told he lost £20,000 to the South Sea bubble. That's the equivalent of about £3 million today. Pretty chilled out guy if you ask me. Leave them to it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1027.

    Martin In answer to your question, I think the answer would be yes for the following reasons;
    1. The sheep would listen
    2. The sheep probably has a better grasp of economics
    3. The sheep would probably find a solution
    4. The sheep wouldn't utter ridiculous platitudes
    5 The sheep would not be so expensive

  • rate this

    Comment number 1026.

    I never understand why the two bookends..Barrosa and the vacuous Rumpuy ..need to be there? Who do they represent..the Brussels bureaucracy?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1025.

    1021. Formerly Golgotha: "The World economy is just one big bubble" Yes, and the bubble seems to move around. Right now there's a few countries growing at 5-10%. Is it possible that they'll run into a perfect storm in a few years time, and those who are being keel-hauled now will be back in the pound seats? I notice some are having property booms. Should we warn them or keep quiet?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1024.

    OK so here's the deal last time I checked $35 = 1 Troy ounce of gold. At the current exchange rates, 35.00 USD = 22.1567 GBP. I have no idea what GBP is pegged to hence the conversions. So we won't bother rounding up the figures and just say £22.15 = 1 Troy ounce of gold. So £400 = 18.05 Troy ounces of gold. Do you really think an iPad is worth 18 ounces of gold? That's 559.8g, over half a kilo?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1023.

    Some Lingering Fog How dare you attempt to patronise me during the last 45 years when the majority of the time this country was ruled by the Tories, we have experienced the selling off of public Services to the City, the destruction of British Industry, jobs, towns, peoples lives and the best you can come up with is more of the same! time you woke up to reality, people are wising up fast!

  • Comment number 1022.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1021.

    The World economy is just one big bubble... or is that mania? No if it was mania it would be one mania after the other... Sorry, I digress, my point is that the World economy is just one big sham and when we realise that in real terms an iPad just isn't worth £400 or whatever it costs etc the bubble will burst, or the perpetual mania will end. Take your pick.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1020.

    Matthew Spot on, in addition we should also stop paying for aircraft, ships and commodities in dollars. It puts the US at an advantage when they avoid paying the real price for oil. It would also be an excellent idea to move away from the dollar as a reserve currency, as there are no real tangible assets to support its ever declining value. China is waiting in the wings!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1019.

    only 3 ways to get rich: grow it, mine it or make it.
    the solution to the global (although this hyperbole is inaccurate with BRICs growing at +8%) ie US/Euro problem: employ people making things we need and stop importing vast qualities of goods(and thereby exporting money). Stop gov spending more that tax receipts. UK gov interferes in every aspect of life, mostly with no benefit but huge cost

  • rate this

    Comment number 1018.

    Hilarious! And, you're going to that by presenting more (made up) anecdotal waffle? It's quite clear that you don't have a clue what you're talking about, as was pointed out to you later in the thread. Carry on trolling!

    Well done John_Bull, don't hold back, go for it. If it keeps the debate lively and you feel better for it, no problem. Its your right say whatever you like.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1017.

    LOL @ the Economic advice from Obama and the same bunch of Eurofools who have done 0 to get us out of this and are actually making it worse....wanna save some cash in the UK, reduce the number of MP's, with a first past the post system it's nearly as bad as the Greek system but costs way more...it is unrepresentative, and quite frankly useless.


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