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Obama pushes G8 leaders for growth pledge

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Obama pushes G8 leaders for growth pledge


US President Barack Obama will use the G8 summit in Maryland on Saturday to push EU leaders to to focus on economic growth rather than austerity.

The meeting at Camp David will also discuss plans to stem the risk of global contagion from the worsening eurozone crisis.

While France will proceed with a financial transaction tax on its banks, the British have rejected the proposal for a Europe-wide levy worth 57 billion euros.

“On the financial transaction tax I’m very clear,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“We’re not going to get growth in Europe or Britain by introducing a new tax that would actually hit people as well as financial institutions. I don’t think it’s a sensible measure, I will not support it”.

EU leaders will be keen to show their commitment to Greece, despite fears that the results of June’s second election may force an exit from the euro.

On Friday, EU Commission president José manuel Durao Barroso told reporters: “Greece is part of the European family and part of the Euro project. And European Union, I’m sure, will do all it takes to ensure it. We honour our committments towards Greece, and we expect the Greek authorities to fulfill the jointly agreed conditions for financial assistance”

Rising oil and food prices as well as Syria are expected to be high on the agenda too.

Our correspondent Stefan Grobe in the US says:
“Political decisions are not to be expected at this summit. The first day of talks was largely devoted to get to know the G8 first timers Hollande, Monti and Noda. Concerning the big subject of crisis combat, it is veteran summit participant Angela Merkel who is increasingly isolated. The question is: for how long will she stand the pressure of additional stimulus measures.”

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