G20 ministers say they'll do what it takes

March 14, 2009 at 8:43 PM
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HORSHAM, England, March 14 (UPI) -- The finance ministers of the Group of 20 promised after a meeting Saturday near London "to take whatever action is necessary" to repair the global economy.

The statement was lacking in specifics and seemed designed to present a united front despite key differences on strategy, The New York Times reported.

The meeting at a resort hotel in Horsham, 31 miles south of London, was in preparation for the summit meeting April 2 in London. The G20 includes the Group of Eight major economic powers plus growing economies like Brazil, China and India, and collectively includes 85 percent of the world economy.

European officials tend to advocate more regulation, while U.S. officials favor stimulus spending.

"We have taken decisive coordinated and comprehensive action to boost demand and jobs, and we are prepared to take whatever action is necessary until growth is restored," the statement said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, in a statement, emphasized that regulation and stimulus are not mutually exclusive.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said failure to take coordinated global action will make the recession worse.

"The world is looking to see what the world as a whole can collectively sign up to, to take action that will make a difference to restoring confidence," Darling told the BBC.

Darling called on the major economies to commit to more stimulus spending if necessary, while German and French officials have said the focus should be on regulatory reform rather than "spending even more."

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