Highlights - G20 meeting in Mexico

MEXICO CITY Mon Nov 5, 2012 6:51pm EST

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Here are the highlights of comments by finance ministers, central bankers and senior officials at the end of the Group of 20 meeting in Mexico City on Monday.

GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE

On U.S. fiscal cliff:

"Everything must be done ... to negotiate the fiscal cliff in such a way that it does not result in any major additional damage or difficulties for the global economy."

On budget deficits:

"A reduction of excessive public debt is unavoidable for sustained growth," he said, adding that Germany was reaching its deficit reduction targets. "With all due modesty, we would urge others to meet their own obligations."

"That there are some countries, which want to take more time (for consolidation) can be seen in looking at the data. But to say that we welcome it: this is not the case."

IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR CHRISTINE LAGARDE

"The global economic context remains difficult and the fragile recovery remains at risk if the needed policy actions are not implemented."

"It will be important for the U.S. to address quickly the so-called fiscal cliff. Time is of the essence, and significant policy uncertainty in Washington must be addressed."

"Japan faces similar challenges, and must also quickly articulate a course of action. Europe, in turn, remains a challenge globally and must deliver on its policy commitments to assure a more stable euro zone."

"The language (on debt and fiscal deficit targets) has evolved ... That language suits us fine and it certainly does not undermine the necessity to proceed to fiscal consolidation at the appropriate pace, particularly in advanced economies."

"It has to be at the right pace, it isn't going to be a one-size-fits-all. No. 2, it has to be structurally targeted rather than fixated on nominal targets. No. 3, the measures that are taken should be as growth friendly as possible. No. 4. There should be a medium-term commitment associated with the short term measures. No. 5, it shouldn't be fiscal consolidation in and of itself, there has to be a package particularly when there is market pressures otherwise it won't work."

MEXICAN FINANCE MINISTER JOSE ANTONIO MEADE

On U.S. fiscal cliff:

"It would seem reasonable that they'd be able ... to find an agreement to make an adjustment that is enough to make public finances sustainable going forward and not so much that it puts at risk the country's economic growth."

OECD SECRETARY-GENERAL ANGEL GURRIA

"I think there will be no fiscal cliff. I think that in the next months, after the election, they will come to an agreement to avert such dramatic consequences."

ITALIAN CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR IGNAZIO VISCO

"In the G20 the fiscal adjustment should be more balanced. During the discussion, we talked about China and Germany (as countries that have more wiggle room) but Europe is divided on this issue."

"Many countries acknowledged the progress made by Europe although some of them within the G20 showed doubts on the possibility to use the ECB's OMT (Outright Market Transaction) and the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) in an effective way."

"It's difficult to explain to non-European countries that the sole existence of these instruments contributed to lower interest rates."

EU ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER OLLI REHN

On finding a solution for Greece:

"We need to have a common view on how to reduce the debt burden by the November 12 Eurogroup meeting and I am confident that we will be able to reach that common view."

"In parallel or in fact prior to that, the Greek government is first expected to adopt a fiscal package of structural reforms and then the Greek parliament is asked to endorse this package as priority actions so we can proceed towards a decision next Monday."

"I would expect that we need a combination of elements and I would certainly not rule out the issue of a debt buyback but it's still a bit premature to say anything definitely on this matter."

JAPANESE FINANCE MINISTER KORIKI JOJIMA

"We have expressed our strong concern about the strong yen at the meeting ... I believe the G20 communique reflects our stance ... I hope that the G20 communique will help stabilize currency markets."

(G20 reporting team)

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