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Obama urges G20 leaders to act fast to boost growth

Posted on: March 24, 2009


Tue Mar 24, 2:04 am ET

BERLIN (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama urged fellow G20 leaders on Tuesday to agree immediate action to boost the global economy at a London summit next month.In an article for German newspaper Die Welt, Obama called for a deal on quick fiscal stimulus measures at the April 2 meeting which he said could open the way to a global recovery.

The comments highlight the differences between the United States and Europe on the need for further stimulus measures on top of packages that governments already have adopted.

“First we must take quick measures to stimulate growth,” Obama wrote in the article, according to the German translation of his comments.

Obama said the United States and other G20 members had taken fiscal steps to boost growth but added:

“These efforts should be robust and sustained until demand has been restored.”

He said the United States was ready to lead the way to revive the world economy and bolster renewed confidence.

“If the London summit contributes toward immediately initiating joint measures, we can smooth the path for a secure recovery and prevent future crises,” he said.

European leaders have so far resisted U.S. calls for further stimulus measures and instead want tighter financial market regulation and supervision to be the main focus of the summit.

Obama said better supervision, as well as restoring the credit flow to companies, was essential for recovery.

“I am determined to take this opportunity to make progress on far-reaching reforms of our regulatory and supervisory framework,” he wrote.

Obama said G20 nations had a duty to help countries facing serious financial risks.

“The G20 should quickly make money available to stabilize emerging countries, to substantially raise the emergency capacity of the International Monetary Fund and regional development banks which accelerate credit,” he wrote.

Obama said his country bore some responsibility for the crisis but added that the G20 summit offered an opportunity for nations to work together to fight the downturn.

“I know that America has played its part in the chaos that confronts us … Now it is time to work together to get back to sustainable growth, which can only come from open and stable markets,” he wrote.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; editing by Michael Roddy)

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