At G8, Obama Will Urge Europe to Work Through Crisis

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Senior U.S. officials say President Obama will use his time with G8 leaders at Camp David this weekend to urge Europe to use the tools it has created to handle its financial crisis and to use them aggressively.

The President will also urge leaders to stay on the road to more European integration even as concern in the market grows that Greece’s financial problems could result in its departure from the currency union.

Among the keys to the weekend meeting of G8 leaders, it will be the first summit with new French President Francois Hollande. U.S. officials understand that it will take time for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hollande to forge the key Franco-German relationship that has to underpin any progress in Europe. As a result, officials say, they are not expecting concrete results from this weekend and see a long road ahead.

But the President will emphasize that the Europeans have better tools, such as its $500 billion financial firewall, to deal with such problems as recapitalizing its banks and calming markets. They see use of these tools as a matter of political will.

The administration has long-maintained that it is within the ability of Europe to solve its problems and they look to next week’s meeting of European leaders as a key to restoring progress.

The president will meet with G20 leaders, which is the main forum for addressing global financial issues, in Mexico next month.