NEWS

G20 meeting to push for 'stronger' Europe

06/17/2012 12:41 EDT | Updated 08/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is headed to Mexico for a crucial meeting of the G20 countries where Europe’s debt crisis and the Greek election will be urgently discussed.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon will host the meeting of the top industrialized countries on Monday in the Pacific resort of Los Cabos.

In a news conference ahead of the meeting, Calderon emphasized the need for a “new, stronger Europe.” Greece’s elections will determine whether the country will remain in the euro zone.

Calderone said the first order of business will be for the G20 to make good on its pledge, made earlier in the spring, to the International Monetary Fund to provide at least $430 billion US in new loans, so the IMF can help countries.

However, other countries — China, Russia, Brazil and Mexico — have been reluctant to commit to the pledge.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told CBC Radio he hopes the G20 meeting will result in an “unambiguous reaction” to what’s happening in Greece.

Flaherty said he fears that if Greeks choose the anti-austerity parties on Sunday, it would result in a default on its loans and trigger a “ripple effect” across Europe causing more turmoil.

Flaherty encouraged European nations to “come up with a game plan.”

The G20 countries include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States.

The group accounts for about 80 per cent of world trade and two-thirds of the world's population.

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