G8 leaders seek common ground on debt crisis
HUNTSVILLE, Canada, June 26 Europe and the United States tried Friday
to bridge differences over how to sustain fragile global economic
recovery and sought common ground on dealing with ballooning deficits.
As the G8 summit of the world's major developed economies got
underway in Canada, all eyes were on a potential clash between European
leaders bent on slashing spending and a Washington fearful of stifling
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel showed her hand early, insisting
members must move fast to cut soaring public deficits and ensure
But both she and US officials stressed this did not represent a split
with the United States, and said both European and other G8 powers were
looking for a balance between debt reduction and support for growth.
"I have made it clear that we need sustainable growth and that growth
and intelligent austerity measures don't have to be contradictions,"
"The discussion was not controversial, there was a lot of mutual
understanding," she told journalists after the first exchanges of the
summit in an exclusive lakeside resort north of the Canadian city of
A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed
the meeting had gone well and that Merkel and US President Barack Obama
had not fallen out over Germany's call for immediate fiscal tightening.
"The president sees deficit reduction as part of a medium and
long-term growth strategy. Coming to the G8 and G20 his main focus is
these things are not exclusive," the administration official told