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Sunday, March 15, 2009

G20 ministers discuss credit crunch fight, as split denied

The Daily Star

Finance ministers from the world's biggest economies hold talks Saturday trying to find common ground ahead of a vital G20 summit on April 2 -- but already the talk is of splits, not harmony.

The world's richest countries -- the United States, Japan and China -- plus wealthy European nations and emerging powers like South Korea will bid to lay the foundations for a plan to pull the global economy out of its tailspin.

But the build-up to the meeting at a luxury hotel near Horsham, south of London, has been marred by clashes between the United States and Europe on whether this is best done through new stimulus measures or tougher regulation.

Failure to come up with a clear commitment to action will dampen hopes that the much-heralded G20 summit, to be hosted by current G20 president Britain in London, can fulfil its promise and further hit already volatile stock markets.

On the eve of the finance ministers' meeting, Britain's finance minister Alistair Darling tried to play down talk of splits between the US -- whose positive view of stimulus is shared by Japan and China -- and Europe.



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