Obama hailed the G20 summit as historical, which hopefully it will prove to be, but peoples' day to day reality is certainly not going to change overnight.
The G20 summit termed the times that we are living in as "the greatest challenge to the world economy in modern times"
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However the G20 summit state that they believe that prosperity is indivisible and growth has to be sustained and to be shared.
They have pledged to do what is necessary to:
1. To restore confidence, growth and jobs
2. To repair the financial system to restore lending
3. To strengthen financial regulations in order to rebuild trust
4. To fund and reform international financial institutions to overcome the crisis and prevent any future ones
5. To promote global trade and investment
6. To build an inclusive, green and sustainable recovery
It's not that this doesn't sound promising and positive but it will take time to decide on the specific measures and then actually to implement them, and then eventually for the ripples of positive reaction to show their effect.
Ireland, where the Celtic Tiger used to reside, has unemployment at the highest since 1996.
The International Monetary Fund and other lenders
have agreed in principle to lend 20bn to Romania, and they have already provided loans to Latvia and Hungary.
Job losses continue everywhere, and here in the Costa del Sol, Spain, one of the most expensive 5 Star Hotels has not paid their staff for 4 months.
There's no escaping the crisis, and as it is called in Spain "La Crisis", and I wonder will the fact that the Spanish Prime Minister, Rodriguez Zapatero and Obama can now call themselves friends make much of a difference in the near future to the huge job losses in Spain, and of course across the United Kingdom and all of Europe.
The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, on 4th April 2009 had such a pressing phone call to take on his mobile phone that he could not possibly greet his hostess Angela Merkel, who was rather bemused and puzzled by his behavior.
In fact he walked away from the venue and continued on talking, to the disbelief of even his own security team, and was nowhere to be seen to cross over the European bridge to the French side. He missed out on most of the proceedings only to turn up eventually for the second group photo.
But in the United Kingdom the public finances have become so bad since November 2008 that the basic income tax rate would need to increase by 8 percentage points to bring government borrowing back on track by 2015-2016, a statement released by the Institute of Fiscal Studies on Monday 6th April 2009.
In the Financial Times, Philip Lane, Professor of International Macroeconomics at Trinity College Dublin, certainly feels that the initial phases of the G20 can be implemented effectively and on time.
It is further down the line that needs more attention, especially bearing in mind that the execution of the policies which relate to domestic banking systems and aggregate demand management will be in the hands of the national governments, with a degree of shared sovereignty.
We will all be watching very closely, and live in hope that the correct measures can be carried out and that the spirit in which worthwhile G20 decisions have been made will be kept alive for a long time.
About the author
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