World leaders out to end economic woe at G8 summit
Leaders of the world's major nations have pledged to tackle the two biggest threats to their economies - the financial crisis crippling Europe and very high oil prices.
The Group of Eight (G8) summit - which brings together the leaders of Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia - is being held at the wooded US Camp David retreat in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains.
The series of crunch talks will test the ability of the men and women in power to quell unease over the threat of another financial meltdown.
After a morning meeting with US President Barack Obama yesterday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said he noticed a “growing sense of urgency that action needs to be taken” on the eurozone woes.
Cameron also agreed German Chancellor Angela Merkel was “absolutely right” that every country needed to have strong plans for dealing with their deficits.
“Growth and austerity aren't alternatives,” he said. The British premier said the G8 summit was also an opportunity for the non-eurozone nations to press the crisis-plunged currency bloc to resolve its problems.
“The G8 can’t instruct the eurozone what to do but why meetings like this matter is that eurozone countries can hear from those outside the eurozone whose economies are affected,” said Cameron.
EU President Herman Van Rompuy pledged to do “whatever is needed to guarantee the financial stability of the euro zone.”
Oil prices and sanctions on Iran will also play a big part in discussions. Speculation has grown Obama will use an energy session at the G8 to seek support to tap emergency oil reserves before a EU embargo of Iranian crude takes effect in July.
But with oil prices sliding, a move by Obama on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve could expose him to criticism that the emergency supply should only be touched in a supply crisis.