There are no sides over stimulus at G20, says Obama

March 15th, 2009 - 7:49 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 15 (DPA) US President Barack Obama has insisted that there were no divisions forming over economic stimulus policies among leaders attending next month’s summit of the world’s 20 leading economies.
Obama, who held talks Saturday with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on the global financial crisis and energy issues, was asked by reporters about perceived difference between the US and the European Union (EU) on government borrowing for stimulus measures.

“I can’t be clearer in saying that there are no sides. This is a phony debate,” Obama said.

“We do believe that it is important for all countries around the world to step in and figure out how we can ensure that we are compensating for the drastic contraction in global demand. We’re not unique in that position.”

He called for “worldwide concerted action to make sure that the massive contraction in demand is dealt with.” But responding to the global recession was not a matter of choosing a single action but of blending “a whole range of approaches”.

Obama noted that governments in Britain, China and Australia have already launched programmes to spur their economies.

“And the Europeans have taken some steps with respect to stimulus and increasing global demand. Not every country is going to do the same levels (of stimulus),” he said.

“But as I’ve said here in this country, and I will repeat in the G20, fiscal stimulus is only one leg in the stool. We have to do financial regulation, and nobody is going to be a more vigorous promoter of the need for a reform of our financial systems.

“I think most of those initiatives are going to be taking place in individual countries, but there’s a need for coordination between various countries.”

Obama and Lula both said that helping poor and developing countries through the economic crisis would be an important goal of the Group of 20 Summit April 2 in London.

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