European leaders have distanced themsevles from American calls to dig deeper to beat the recession, saying the main priority must be strengthening market rules. President Obama had said that the financial battle can be won only if the world’s economies work together and take co-ordinated action.
“All of us are going to have to take steps in order to lift the economy,” the president said. “We do not want a situation in which some countries are making extraordinary efforts while other countries are not, with the hope that somehow the countries which are making those important steps will lift everybody up. And so somebody has got to show leadership.” Many European economies feel they have little room for manoeuvre. In Britain, the government has been warned by the Bank of England that there is no more money available for further stimulus. With the London G20 summit a week away, Jean-Claude Juncker, the Eurogroup president, said Europe’s strategy is correct, and there is no question of spending more simply because America says so. He said stimulus plans must go hand-in-hand with market regulation.