UPDATE: Canada Fin Min: G20 Talks Should Focus On Restoring Fiscal Order In Europe

Date : 06/13/2012 @ 1:39PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : (CADAY)
Quote : 99.52  0.0 (0.00%) @ 11:50PM
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UPDATE: Canada Fin Min: G20 Talks Should Focus On Restoring Fiscal Order In Europe

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--New stimulus could emerge as a discussion at G20 meeting

--Economies need to get their fiscal houses "in order," Flaherty says

--G20 officials worried about impact of Sunday's election in Greece

(Recasts paragraph 3, adds new details in paragraphs 5-6)

   By Paul Vieira 

OTTAWA--Group of 20 leaders can discuss undertaking additional stimulus to boost a turbulent global economy at next week's gathering in Mexico, but the focus should remain on Europe's need to restore fiscal and financial order, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Wednesday.

"We need markets to have confidence, and that means the Europeans need to take certain steps," Mr. Flaherty said before entering the weekly caucus meeting of the Conservative Party.

He said G20 officials from developed and emerging economies "can have" a discussion over further stimulus measures, "but obviously countries have to get their financial houses in order." He said the U.S. fiscal situation was exacerbated by political gridlock in Congress.

Officials from some countries, such as Brazil, have indicated that support for further stimulus was increasing, and that there may be a need to slow down on austerity measures.

Speaking to reporters after the caucus meeting, Mr. Flaherty said he spent much of Tuesday on the phone with peers from non-European G20 countries, who all expressed "concern" about the outcome of Sunday's election in Greece -- which will happen on the eve of the G20 leaders' summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. There is mounting concern no party will win enough support to tackle a slew of fiscal and economic problems in Greece, which could complicate the country's efforts to satisfy international creditors and further exacerbate the euro zone's sovereign debt and banking crisis.

The Greek election "could result in a disruptive moment, if it were to result in a disassociation of Greece from the pact that our European colleagues have developed in terms of austerity," said Mr. Flaherty, the longest-serving finance chief among the Group of Seven economies.

Meanwhile, in response to a report released earlier Wednesday about the Canadian economy from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Mr. Flaherty said the Vancouver housing market had "moderated," but he still harbored concerns about the Toronto market.

The OECD said in its report that Canada's housing market would slow.

Write to Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@dowjones.com

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