Entries in G-8 Summit (3)


Obama Sees ‘Emerging Consensus’ on Eurozone Rescue

Jewel Samad/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- There were a couple new faces in town at the annual Group of Eight summit, and a couple new allies for President Obama, who has been urging Europeans to follow America’s lead. And with 4 million jobs created in the United States in last 26 months, the Europeans are listening.

The global economy dominated the day, and while no bold, specific steps were laid out, a broad, shared path was embraced by the G-8 leaders Saturday at Camp David.

The president continues to argue that in the middle of the economic crisis, the U.S. went one way, spending on stimulus for growth, and the Europeans went the other, with austerity and spending cuts.

And while Obama admits that Europe “is more complicated,” he shamelessly touted America’s growth. Through the recession “economic growth [gave] us more room to take a balanced approach to reducing our deficit and debt,” he said.

Without mentioning austerity once, he set a clear tone in the morning. Growth and jobs must be the G-8′s top priority and everyone “must take steps to boost confidence and growth in Europe,” he said.

“A stable, growing European economy is in everybody’s best interests—including America’s,” Obama said.

“If a company is forced to cut back in Paris or Madrid, that might mean less business for manufacturers in Pittsburgh or Milwaukee,” he said, adding that in turn, that could affect the American families and communities dependent on that business.

Obama said there had been genuine progress during the two-day summit, and said Saturday night that “there’s now an emerging consensus that more must be done to promote growth and job creation right now.”

Saturday’s focus on the Eurozone comes on the heels of elections in France and Greece that ushered in new leaders who are focused on growth, a blatant rejection of the austerity model championed by Germany.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that growth and deficit-cutting were not mutually exclusive, but reinforced each other. She added that everyone seemed to agree.

“That is great progress,” she said.

The joint Camp David Declaration reflected the mission of growth but included a very stern warning.

“Our imperative is to promote growth and jobs,” the G-8 statement read. “The global economic recovery shows signs of promise, but significant headwinds persist.”

And both America and Europe feel those headwinds. The G-8 leaders also agreed that they support Greece staying in the Eurozone—a statement that underlines just how large the damage could be to the global system if Greece left. Large and unpredictable. Last week, many analysts argued that a Greek departure was imminent and last Thursday, Fitch ratings agency dropped Greece to the lowest possible grade for a country not in default.

After his brief speech, President Obama headed into a bilateral meeting with Merkel before catching the overtime shootout of the Champions League final game between Chelsea and Bayern Munich. Merkel was again in the spotlight when Bayern Munich lost, but after a long day, the other leaders offered sympathy—in several different languages.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ladies Who Lunch: First Lady Hosts G-8 Spouses at the White House

Chuck Kennedy/Official White House Photo(WASHINGTON) -- While the G-8 Summit leaders held a working lunch on food security, first lady Michelle Obama played host back at the White House.

Catered by celebrity chef Jose Andres, the G-8 spouses gathered for an “intimate lunch,” according to the White House.

On the menu: gazpacho, Maryland rockfish with asparagus, grapefruit, Virginia berries, greens from the White House garden and caramelized olive oil. And for dessert, a tangerine sorbet with Virginia strawberries.

There were some new faces this year including Elsa Antonioli Monti, married to the new Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, and notably, Valerie Trierweiler, French President Francois Hollande’s girlfriend.

Trierweiler, who has been with Hollande since 2005, is pushing diplomatic etiquette and was seen standing by Hollande’s side when he was sworn in earlier in May.

With the French first couple now in the United States for a marathon weekend of soft diplomacy, American media has been tripping over itself to describe Trierweiler: Girlfriend? Spouse? Domestic partner? Lover?

Trierweiler skipped lunch on Friday between Hollande and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but is reportedly invited to participate in all spouse programs for the G-8 and NATO Summit in Chicago.

The beautiful, twice divorced, mother of three is accomplished in her own right. She earned a masters from La Sorbonne in political science, and she was a successful political journalist, though she has been forced to take a step back since Hollande’s election.

Unsurprisingly, the only spouse to skip Saturday’s intimate gathering was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s husband, Joachim Sauer, a professor of theoretical chemistry in Berlin. Sauer rarely makes public appearances with his wife. He missed her inauguration in 2005 and can only occasionally be found in photos, generally standing off.

Before lunch Saturday, the women toured the White House with curator Bill Allman, stopping in the East Room and State Dining Room.

On Saturday night, after the G-8 wraps up at Camp David, the first lady will travel to Chicago for the NATO Summit and will host events for the spouses of NATO leaders, including dinner at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House Moves G-8 Summit From Chicago to Camp David

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In a surprising change of heart, the White House announced Monday afternoon that it was moving the site of the upcoming G-8 economic summit from the president’s hometown of Chicago to Camp David.

The White House gave no reason for the late change in location, after it announced last summer that both the G-8 and NATO summits would be held in Chicago.

The move reportedly stunned organizers in Chicago, who were caught off-guard by the White House’s decision, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners, the president is inviting his fellow G-8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a written statement.

The president himself spends little time at his Maryland country retreat, preferring to spend his weekends in Washington instead.

The president still plans to host the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21, “which will be the premier opportunity this year for the president to continue his efforts to strengthen NATO to ensure that the Atlantic Alliance remains the most successful alliance in history, while charting the way forward in Afghanistan,” according to Carney.

Reacting to the news, Chicago Mayor and Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said he wished “President Obama and the other leaders well at the G-8 meeting at Camp David” and looked forward to hosting the NATO summit in Chicago.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio