Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Europe must solve crisis, says US

US President Barack Obama heads towards Air Force One as he travels to France for the G20 Summit (AP)

The United States has an important role to play in helping guide Europe through its financial crisis, but it is ultimately Europe's problem to solve, the White House said as President Barack Obama headed for an economic summit in France.

The Group of 20 industrialised and developing nations meets on Thursday and Friday in Cannes, a summit that is overshadowed by the European debt crisis and Greece's surprise plans to put a bailout deal to a popular vote.

Press secretary Jay Carney said the Greek prime minister George Papandreou's decision to call a referendum on the Europe bailout plan was certain to be a topic of discussion for Mr Obama and world leaders.

Mr Papandreou has infuriated European leaders and rocked financial markets, putting in jeopardy the long-sought deal to resolve the European debt crisis.

Without criticising the Greek plan, Mr Carney said it made clear the need for Europe to act.

"The events in Greece ... only underscore the need for Europe to come together and to unite behind conclusive action that resolves this crisis," Mr Carney said at the White House.

He said the US has unique insights on the European financial crisis because of its experience in dealing with its own financial crisis, as well as its position as the world's largest economy.

But Mr Carney made clear that the US has no plans to offer financial support to Europe as cash-rich China may do.

"We have said that this is a European problem and that the Europeans have the capacity to resolve it, the resources necessary to resolve it, and need to take conclusive action to do so," Mr Carney said.

"We have a role here to play because of our experience and knowledge, and of course, the fact that we are the largest economy in the world and we can bring to bear insight and experience in a way that really no other nation can," he said.

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