Developed Nations Struggle to Restore Growth

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 6:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Finance ministers and central bankers from the world's most developed nations have held a round of talks in Marseille, France to discuss ways to revive the faltering global economy.

The officials from the Group of Seven nations held their discussions Friday amid warnings that leading industrialized economies were at risk of heading back into recession and of a growing financial crisis in the 17-nation eurozone. The talks took place as Germany's Juergen Stark, a top European Central Bank official, abruptly resigned. Reports say his resignation reveals deep disagreement over how to solve economic problems in Europe.

Bad economic news has hit most of the G7 — which includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. A new report published Thursday by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found growth is stalling in many leading economies.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has called for quick and bold action to counter the crisis of confidence hurting the global economy. She made her comments in London Friday before heading to the Marseille talks, which continue Saturday.

The Marseille discussions began one day after U.S. President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress in Washington and proposed a $447-billion plan to ease U.S. unemployment, which stands at around 9 percent, and revive the economy. Since Mr. Obama took office in 2009, Republicans in Congress have rejected almost all of his economic proposals, objecting to increased spending and deficits.

Elsewhere, there are reports that embattled Greece is about to default on its sovereign debt. Greek officials have denied them as speculation designed to hurt the euro. Last year, Greece received a $159-billion bailout from the IMF and European Union.