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Eurozone crisis central to G8 talks

Reuters/Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann/Pool

Leaders of the G8 are meeting today at Camp David in the United States. The eurozone economic crisis is top of the agenda. Political solutions to the unrest in Syria, preventing North Korea and Iran gaining nuclear capability and food security in Africa are also being discussed.

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The German chancellor Angela Merkel denied reports last night that she favours a referendum in Greece to determine whether to remain in the euro. Although Merkel, who is pushing for austerity in the eurozone, did admit she lacks faith in the interim government.

“It is clear that the matter is beyond the competence of the caretaker government,” said Merkel. Greece is due to go to the polls again on 17 June following legislative elections earlier this month.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

During their first ever meeting at the White House on Friday French president Francois Hollande and his US counterpart Barack Obama said they favour stimulus over austerity in the eurozone.

“Hollande is very much like Obama. He’s inclined towards Keynesian or neo-Keynesian policies, which is clearly not the case of Angela Merkel,” Dominique Moisi is senior advisor at the French Institute of International Relations told RFI.

The European Union is also represented at the G8 talks. However, reports suggest EU representatives have contradictory approaches to solving the crisis. European Union Trade Commissioner Karel du Gucht said the EU was putting together a contingency plan for Greece to leave the euro. But the EU’s Economic Affairs Commissioner, Olli Rehn, later said there were no plans being made for Greece leave the euro.

“We are not working on the scenario of a Greek exit.”

At the opening dinner in Camp David in Maryland G8 leaders discussed possible political solutions for restoring peace in Syria. But the absence of Russian president Vladimir Putin who sent his Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev may weaken any plan to come out of the G8 meeting.

Preventing nuclear capability in Iran and North Korea will be discussed by G8 leaders of US, Germany, France, Britain, Japan, Russia, Italy and Canada gathered at Camp David today.

Leaders from four African countries – Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania have also been invited to the G8 to discuss food security in Africa. Early indications suggest G8 will push for the private sector to assist in boosting food production on the continent.
 

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