Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Leaders meeting for crisis talks before G20 summit



Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is to hold emergency talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel later, ahead of the G20 summit starting on Thursday.
It comes a day after Mr Papandreou made the surprise announcement that Greece would hold a referendum on the eurozone rescue plan agreed last week.
Markets fall sharply on Tuesday as it raises fears the deal could collapse.
The eurozone crisis is also set to dominate the two-day G20 gathering.
'Important decisions'
Mr Sarkozy said the talks with Mr Papandreou would include discussions on "the conditions under which the engagements undertaken will be kept".
The meeting is taking place in Cannes ahead of the G20 summit in the same French city on Thursday and Friday.

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[The Europeans] need to implement the very important decisions they made last week to provide a conclusive resolution to it.”
Jay CarneyBarack Obama's spokesman
Also due to join the Greek, German and French leaders on Wednesday evening are European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker, and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
Speaking before he travels to France, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said "much more needs to be done" to restore investor confidence in the eurozone.
He urged fellow G20 leaders to take difficult decisions "swiftly".
That sentiment was echoed by Barack Obama's spokesman, Jay Carney.
He said: "[The Europeans] need to implement the very important decisions they made last week to provide a conclusive resolution to it."
Last week, eurozone leaders agreed a 50% debt write-off for Greece as well as strengthening the eurozone bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, to 1trn euros ($1.4tn; £860bn).
However, the deal is reliant upon Greece continuing to carry out extensive austerity measures.
And most commentators say this will be rejected by the Greek people in any referendum.

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