Euro zone leaders must act on crisis: Obama

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 13, 2011 3:43 AM
Euro zone leaders must act on crisis: Obama

MADRID (Reuters) - The euro zone's leaders need to show markets they are taking responsibility for its debt crisis and work out how to tally monetary union with budget policy, Spanish press reported U.S. President Barack Obama as telling a briefing.

Greece is the immediate concern, but an even bigger problem is what may happen should markets renew attacks on the larger economies of Spain and Italy, he said at a roundtable with Spanish-speaking journalists in Washington.

"It is difficult to co-ordinate and agree a common path when you have so many countries with different policies and economic situations," El Mundo website reported him as telling a briefing. (www.elmundo.es)

"In the end the big countries in Europe, the leaders in Europe must meet and take a decision on how to coordinate monetary integration with more effective co-ordinated fiscal policy."

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is due to make a one-day trip to Poland this week to meet with euro zone finance ministers as fears grow that Greece will soon default on its debt.

A long-term solution is possible if markets believe euro zone countries with budget surpluses are willing to back their partners in the monetary union, Obama said.

The United States is in consultation with the euro zone over how to resolve the crisis, Obama said.

(Reporting by Sonya Dowsett; editing by Patrick Graham)