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Tough Times At The G20

  • April 2nd, 2009
  • Posted by 7thmin

g20-wikipedia.jpgUS President Barak Obama and the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown predicted some tough bargaining on the eve of the “Group of 20” economic summit in London (2.4.09).

Brown, and the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, matched the mood in favour of stepped up regulation of banking systems, in speeches at St Paul’s cathedral.

Brown spoke of “unsupervised operations of markets” that had “crossed moral boundaries”; Rudd identified government responsibility for social impacts of the economic crisis: “equity, community, sustainability”.

President Obama had a side meeting with the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, on reviving long-suspended talks for the reduction of nuclear warheads; and also saw Hu Jintao, President of China.

He said not all issues would be agreed, but progress had to be made in the debate over remedies for the economic recession — whether further spending stimulus or more regulation.

“We have an obligation to keep working until the burden has lifted from ordinary people,” he said.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, in the “regulation” camp, drew attention, declaring he would not sign any final communique if it contained “false compromises”.

There was no talk of bargaining or compromise in the streets of the British capital.

The long-planned “G20” demonstrations got under way early and noisily, thousands campaigning for peace, against capitalism, or for the environment.

Some were arrested after smashing windows at the Royal Bank of Scotland, one of the failing institutions salvaged with public money, in the economic crisis. Others were detained masquerading as police, in an armoured vehicle.

“We don’t need the multinational companies ruining the Earth”, said a man in the street.

Also in the background, a new Interim Economic Outlook report from the OECD in Paris. It foreshadowed a fresh surge in unemployment in the most developed countries accompanying  4.3% negative “growth” in 2009.

See also EUAustralia “Getting ready for G20”, 23.3.09.

Picture: G20 member nations, G20.

Reference:

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris, “GDP to plummet 4.3 percent across OECD countries in 2009 as unemployment climbs sharply”, 31.3.09. http://www.oecd.org/document/51/0,3343,en_2649_34487_42464883_1_1_1_1,00.html, (1.4.09); www.oecd.org/oecdeconomicoutlook, (1.4.09).

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