G8 Nations Discuss Aid After Arab Spring Uprisings

Posted September 10th, 2011 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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Finance ministers and central bankers from the world's most developed nations are meeting in Marseilles, France for a second day of discussions on ways to revive the faltering global economy.

The officials from the Group of Seven nations plus Russia tacked a second day of talks Saturday onto Friday's G7 meeting to pledge assistance to countries in the Middle East and North Africa to finance reform efforts in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.

Officials from Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia are explaining to the G8 nations how they plan to launch their economies and hear what help they can expect from the world's major economic powers.

Bad economic news has hit most of the G8 — which includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and Russia. 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 Marseilles talks.

The Marseilles 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.