Europe continues to resist US calls to increase government spending on anti-recession stimulus plans.
Jean-Claude Juncker – who speaks for the euro zone’s finance ministers – said the region is already doing enough to pump money into the world economy. Dismissing President Barack Obama’s calls for leading economies to spend more in concerted action Junker said: “The European stimulus plans are strong, they are demanding and they are significant in terms of volume and quality.” The current EU president, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, went further warning Obama’s rescue plans “will undermine the stability of the global financial markets.” He added the US is repeating the mistakes of the 1930s and said: “The worst is these steps are intended to be permanent and that is a way to hell.” Asked about Europe’s reticence, Obama said: “I haven’t asked them to do anything. What I’ve suggested is, is that all of us are going to have to take steps in order to lift the economy. We don’t want a situation in which some countries are making extraordinary efforts and other countries aren’t with the hope that somehow the countries that are making those important steps lift everybody up. And so somebody’s got to take leadership.” Next week’s G20 summit in London will have to resolve those apparent differences between the US and Europe and find a common approach to spurring world economic growth.