EU and US Differ on Fiscal Stimulus Plans

The forthcoming G20 meeting is expected to outline a new policy division between the US and EU on fiscal stimulus to counter the financial and economic crisis.

Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the eurogroup, said “The 16 euro area ministers agreed that recent American appeals insisting that the Europeans make an additional budgetary effort to combat the effects of the crisis was not to our liking (…)Europe and the eurogroup have done what they needed to do.”

This contradicts to appeals by Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, who said that the urgent need for a short-term increase in spending by governments temporarily overrides the longer-term goal of tackling the global imbalances.

The G20 meeting will be the arena of an indeed important debate, since some of the leading economists that predicted this economic crisis (the Nobel laureate Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini) say that we need a lot of fiscal stimulus, among other things.

Advising on policy measures from a scientific standpoint is easy; implementing policy measures being an elected politician is quite different. However, it may be useful to at least discuss different views, rather than not.

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