June 17, 2012 / 4:26 PM / 7 years ago

Obama to press for euro zone progress at G20 summit

WASHINGTON, June 17 (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.”

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