Police and protestors have clashed in Toronto ahead of the G-20 summit, as world leaders played down their differences over the best way to prop up the shaky global recovery.
Around 2000 protestors took to the streets, banging a range of drums from women’s rights to communism and anarchy.
A few blocks from the US Consulate, they were met with the weight of the law. At least two people were arrested.
It’s not just on the streets, that emotions are running high. Canadians are angry over the price tag of hosting overlapping summits of world leaders in Ontario this weekend, estimated at US$1 billion.
And behind the security fences, there’s steel behind the smiles and handshakes too.
Mr Obama is worried that a series of deep budget cuts announced by European countries may delay global recovery.
But the Europeans, who’ve hit a debt wall over the past few months, have pushed austerity to the top of the policy agenda.“My observation has been that leaders have actually been very, very cautious in terms of the pledges they have made,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said. “I don’t think you will again see leaders go out and make pledges that they don’t intend to keep or that they really haven’t thought about very thoroughly.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel insists the leaders haven’t argued. But with a World Cup match between England and Germany on Sunday, the picture of unity may soon shatter.