G20: don’t expect any solutions from the international junketing in Mexico

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
By Paul Martin

It’s Monday, so it must be time for another international summit. Gathered in the Mexican seaside resort of Los Cabos, G20 leaders will already be wondering why they’ve made the trip.

By Jeremy Warner
18 Jun 2012

Nothing is promised from this latest piece of international junketing, other than a little Mexican levity and a nasty bout of indigestion, courtesy of all the spicey food. Let’s hope that leaders have brought their anti-reflux medication with them; in more ways than one, they are going to need it.

Few G20 meetings are anything other than a waste of space, but this one more so than most, for the latest slowdown in the world economy is something that can only be convincingly dealt with by Europe. And as we already know, Europe is seemingly quite incapable of sorting out the hopeless muddle it has inflicted on itself.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has welcomed the outcome of the Greek election, but it must have been through gritted teeth. In fact, New Democracy’s narrow victory is the worst possible outcome for Berlin. What a relief that Greece has voted to remain in the euro, German policymakers profess in public. Not, they mutter as an aside.

There’s virtually no politician in Greece who thinks the austerity of the bailout programme a price worth paying for membership of the euro; they all want to renegotiate the terms to some degree.

The choice made by Greeks was therefore not one of in or out of the euro, but between the outright confrontation pledged by the radical left and the guerrilla warfare of renegotiation promised by the New Democracy leader, Antonis Samaras. This is scarcely going to help matters from a German perspective.

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