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US, Germany stress cooperation to end euro crisis

Associated Press
Jul 31, 2012 at 01:20am IST

Berlin: US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and his German counterpart stressed the need for coordinated action on Monday in the face of the eurozone debt crisis and faltering global growth, but left open what joint steps Europe and the United States would take to shore up the world economy in the coming months.

Geithner travelled to the German North Sea island of Sylt for informal talks with Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, before heading on to meet Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, later on Monday.

Geithner and Schaeuble praised efforts by Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy to turn their debt-ridden economies around, and voiced optimism about economic reforms meant to deepen integration among the 17 eurozone members.

US, Germany stress cooperation to end euro crisis

The joint statement made no reference to Greece, which has struggled to implement the reform package agreed with its creditors.

The joint statement made no reference to Greece, which has struggled to implement the reform package agreed with its creditors.

The country faces the possibility a chaotic exit from the common currency area if it fails to meet its bailout conditions.

Geithner and Schaeuble "emphasized the need for ongoing international cooperation and coordination" and stated that the US and Germany would "continue to cooperate closely with their partners when advancing the policy agenda in autumn to further stabilize global and European economies."

The US treasury secretary was later scheduled to head to Frankfurt for a meeting with ECB President Mario Draghi.

Markets surged after Draghi said last Thursday that the ECB would do "whatever it takes" to preserve the euro. Over the following days, the leaders of Germany, France and Italy also said they would do all they can to protect the 17-country currency union, comments that Geithner and Schaeuble's "took note of," according to their statement.

Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University, said the joint Geithner-Schaeuble statement did not offer any new solutions for the European debt crisis.

"The statement doesn't contain anything new," Sohn said. "What is important is not the joint statement but what the two officials might have discussed behind the scenes."

Sohn said that it was very likely that Geithner sought during his one-day visit to Europe to strongly encourage the Europeans to move more aggressively to deal with their debt problems.

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