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Kicking the Cannes

The G20 meeting, which was originally intended to seek a solution to the eurozone debt crisis, was yesterday dominated by the shenanigans in Greece. At one point, the Greek Prime Minister was set to resign – this now appears to be unlikely. The referendum that he had called earlier in the week now also ¬†appears to be off the cards. What is happening (at least, what seems to be happening at the moment, but following yesterday’s flip-flopping it’s hard to be sure) is that there is a crucial confidence vote in the Greek parliament with the outcome far from certain. Mr Papandreou is now suggesting a coalition with the opposition but many are questioning the motives behind the Prime Minister’s seemingly random actions.

In between the interruptions caused by the news coming from Greece, other developments at the G20 in Cannes yesterday were mixed:

  • President Obama warned that the eurozone financial crisis threatened to engulf the world
  • Italy is to commit to further cuts to its debts and its annual borrowing rate according to a draft communique
  • China indicated that it would not consider providing money to the eurozone bailout fund until the situation in Greece has been resolved
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao also played down the chance of allowing the value of the yuan to rise, contradicting more optimistic remarks by the US
  • India and Canada expressed their opposition to the idea of a tax on financial transactions, something strongly backed by eurozone governments
  • the G20 agreed to look at the credit default swaps markets, which has been blamed by some European leaders for exacerbating the eurozone debt crisis

Let’s hope today brings more positive action.

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