Prime Minister of Canada: It’s time for Europe and the G20 to act decisively


From Stephen Harper, the Globe and Mail:  Both Europe and the G20 have important roles to play in restoring market confidence and protecting the fragile global recovery.

In Canada’s view, Europe must:

• Take immediate and decisive action to resolve sovereign debt and banking system issues. This action must be sufficient to overwhelm the problem and restore markets’ confidence.

• Carry out commitments to increase the flexibility of the European Financial Stability Facility and to maximize its impact as quickly as possible.

• Implement plans for debt and deficit reduction that are clear and credible. . . .

The choices that must be made in Europe and elsewhere are not easy. Yet, if not made, we will do a great disservice to all nations. A slow response to the recent crisis has allowed it to spread, but political will, decisiveness and a clear plan can resolve it, if we act now.

In Canada, our government has taken these challenges seriously. We have backed our words with strong action. We have a prudent, medium-term plan to return our budget to balance and protect our strong public finances. We will meet G20 deficit and debt targets well ahead of schedule. Yet, we also are implementing a pro-jobs and growth agenda that is focused on promoting investment, hiring and the retention of workers affected by the global economic downturn. In short, we have sought to strike the right balance between supporting jobs and growth, and reducing our deficit in a responsible manner.

Stephen Harper is Prime Minister of Canada.  (photo: Reuters)

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