EU Van Rompuy/Barroso: Need Strong, Credible G20 Message On Growth

Date : 05/25/2012 @ 4:42PM
Source : Dow Jones News

EU Van Rompuy/Barroso: Need Strong, Credible G20 Message On Growth

The Group of 20 developed and developing nations should place growth and jobs at the top of its agenda, top European Union officials said in a letter to its G-20 partners Friday.

Ahead of next month's G-20 leaders meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso echoed long-standing U.S. calls that efforts to boost growth were the top challenge for the global economy.

In the letter, the EU leaders said that "risks to global growth remain."

They said their first task for the Los Cabos meeting was "keeping growth and employment at the top of the G-20 agenda."

The EU leaders said they knew that the euro zone's troubles would be a key point of debate at the meeting.

They said they would emphasize that the euro zone has taken strong action to stabilize the debt crisis and that they will continue to do so. They also said they will make clear that they want Greece to stay in the euro zone.

In the letter, the EU leaders said they would call on China to take more action to allow its currency to appreciate and they would urge the U.S. to avoid a "fiscal cliff" of sudden tax hikes at year-end.

"Whilst we are firmly focused on playing our part, at Los Cabos all other G-20 partners should also recognize their responsibilities in building a sustainable recovery," they said.

The European call to emphasize growth is a marked sea-change from most G-20 meetings over the last two years, where Europe has been stressing its focus on austerity while the U.S. has talked of the need not to cut deficits too sharply.

It comes after the election of French President Francois Hollande, the latest politician to sweep into power on the back of a message that criticized too much austerity.

-By Laurence Norman, Dow Jones Newswires; +32 (0) 2741 1481;

--Matina Stevis contributed to this article.

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