Andrew Willis, EUObserver
The weekend's meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers saw heated exchanges between US and European representatives, with division centering on the speed at which government budget deficits should be reduced.
US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner argued the case for fiscal consolidation over the "medium term," while Europeans, rattled by the region's ongoing debt crisis, called for faster cutbacks.
"Stronger domestic demand in Japan and in the European surplus countries" is needed, Mr Geithner told reporters in Busan, South Korea, on Saturday (5 June).
European representatives said greater emphasis should be placed on restoring healthy public finances. "For the vast majority, addressing finances, budget consolidation, is priority No. 1," said French finance minister Christine Lagarde.
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Europe and US clash over timing of austerity measures