Ever rising oil prices will top the agenda at the G8 economic powers summit next week in Hokkaido, Japan. However economists are sceptical whether the leaders of the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia can do much more than their finance ministers did at a gathering last month that is call on producer countries to pump more oil.
As summit participants started to arrive, there was a big police presence on the streets; more than 20,000 officers are being deployed against terrorism threats and anti-globalisation protests.
German demonstrator Alexis Passadakis was scornful of what the summit could achieve. He said: “They always pretend to make solutions for problems in the world,instead of that they are the cause of many, many problems, so I do not expect anything good, I hope this would be the last G8 summit.”
Food security is also high on the summit agenda. In the face of rising food prices, it is anticipated the G8 leader will call on governments to release available food reserves to global markets and explore ways to boost agricultural output in developing countries.