Obama to press for euro zone progress at G20 summit

WASHINGTON Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:45pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a reception to observe “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month at the White House in Washington June 15, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a reception to observe “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month at the White House in Washington June 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will press European leaders this week to resolve their debt crisis but the United States does not expect much progress before the end of the month, a White House adviser said on Sunday.

Obama will participate in a two-day summit of Group of 20 leaders that starts in Mexico on Monday. He has called on European leaders to recapitalize weak banks and to focus on economic growth and not just budget austerity.

"We're going to continue to make the case," David Plouffe, a senior Obama adviser, told U.S. broadcaster ABC's program "This Week."

"There will be progress made over the next couple days, but no one should expect a firm resolution," he said.

The G20 brings together the leaders of 20 big industrial economies, including euro zone heavyweights Germany, France and Italy.

Europe's financial crisis could easily send the global economy into recession should the region's 17-nation currency block implode. The euro zone is a top trading partner of the United States and several of its members, including Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece are already in recession.

The crisis threatens to boil over after Sunday's election in Greece, which has policymakers around the world scrambling to prepare for a potential Greek exit from the currency block.

The European Union will hold its own leaders' summit from June 28-29 to discuss a timetable for potentially sweeping reforms that could create a fiscal union in Europe. Plouffe said that summit would be the venue for more substantial progress.

"That's really hopefully where we'll see more confidence and progress that they can handle this," Plouffe said.

The crisis is coinciding with Obama's reelection campaign head of November polls.

The president's Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, regularly accuses Obama of using European-style welfare policies to put America on a path to fiscal ruin.

On Sunday, Romney made clear he opposed using any U.S. tax dollars to bail out European countries. "We're not going to send checks to Europe," Romney told the CBS program "Face the Nation."

Obama also has said Europeans must solve their own problems.

Romney said U.S. banks were stronger than they were just a few years ago, and that he would "hope that regardless of what happens in Europe, that our banking sector is able to weather the storm."

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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Comments (5)
justinolcb wrote:
NEWS FLASH: A Marxist, gay-friendly, pot head has been squatting at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for 4 years and no US citizen has done anything about it!…jus’ sayin’

Jun 17, 2012 1:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
smokeys wrote:
I think the president might have a lot more credibility if he could say that he was actively working to resolve our own debt crisis. But when you talk to the speaker of the house only once every ten months and have been in campaign mode for over six months now.. well…..

Jun 17, 2012 2:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
lucky12345 wrote:
Question – where will the additional Trillions of EURO’s needed to bail out the “PIIGS” of Europe come from anyway? Are the governments just going to print the money and/or borrow that money? If they borrow then from who, hedge funds, banks, working citizens… How will borrowed money help anyone, you just have to pay it back plus interest at a later date. Will this borrowed money increase growth, but then who will be able to afford these goods which come from the increased growth? Sharing the spoils will work for a short time and then the money stops flowing and you either need yet another bail-out or you go bankrupt! If we tax the rich and bleed the banks, then who will be left to tax and when that happens who will then GROW the economy?

Jun 17, 2012 2:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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