Italian, British PMs talk on G8 and G20 crisis coordination
Coordinating the efforts of the Group of Eight and the Group of 20 to combat the global recession was at the center of talks here on Thursday between Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Italy holds the G8 presidency for 2009 while Britain holds the rotating chair of the G20, which is the G8 (Italy, Britain, the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Canada and Russia) plus 11 emerging economies like China, India and Brazil, together with the European Union.
Speaking to the press after their talks, Berlusconi and Brown stressed the need for nations to avoid the protectionist temptations which they defined as a "trap."
According to Berlusconi, the "Buy American" clause in the new U. S. economic stimulus plan and France's measures to support the country's automobile industry both "smell a bit like protectionism. "
The U.S. clause states that projects benefiting from federal funding need to use American-made steel and goods, while Paris intends to help French carmakers only if they keep their plants open in France, Xinhua reported referring to Italian News Agency ANSA.
Brown argued that "if a nation adopts protectionist measures this will lead to a chain reaction in other countries which will result in less trade for everyone and a loss of jobs."
The April G20 summit in London, Brown said, will center on " economic rebirth" with the aim of "making up for the time which has been lost over these past months."
Both the G20 and the G8, he added, "will work together to pull out of the recession as quickly as possible."
"What we are looking for is something strong which can jolt the financial system, make it produce definitive results," Berlusconi added.
The G8 and G20 leaders said they were in "total agreement" on the nature of the global crisis and the way it needed to be tackled.
"We have the same opinions and this is a comfort for us who have the responsibility of the G20, in Gordon Brown's case, and the G8, in my case," Berlusconi said.
During their talks, the two leaders also reviewed a number of other international issues including the situation in the Middle East.
"We will continue to work for reconciliation within the Palestinian community and for a resumption of the peace process," Berlusconi told the press.
"And the West must do its part through a Marshall Plan for Palestine," he added.
Berlusconi confirmed that Mideast is high on Italy's agenda for the G8 and Britain's for the G20. Enditem