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A meeting of minds in Milan?

Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 02:03

European and Asian leaders meet in Italy following a day of turmoil on world financial markets. As Sonia Legg reports, the prospect of another financial crisis is expected to be on their agenda.

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The agenda was already packed - with the Ukraine crisis, Ebola and IS, along with the world's slowing economy. And then the markets gave everyone a shock. A possible flare up of the global financial crisis was soon a hot topic as Italy's Prime Minister welcomes leaders to Milan. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI SAYING: "I believe it is very important that we come out of this summit with a shared stance, a standpoint that emphasizes sustainable growth, which we all agree is a shared priority, and underscores the importance of our partnership." 27 European heads of state and 16 Asian ones are attending the two-day summit, along with a few others. One of those is Russia - Europe's leaders are getting their first chance in months to meet President Putin. Ahead of the meeting Merkel was promising not to let up sanctions over Ukraine. She was also sticking to her prudent spending strategy for the euro zone, despite a weakening German economy. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "All - and I underline all - member states must fully respect the rules of the Growth and Stability Pact. These rules have to be applied credibly in all member states." Her message was delivered to a domestic audience but was aimed at France and Italy - both are implementing anti-austerity budgets. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "Relaunching growth is the best way of stabilising the markets. We are out of the most severe phase of the euro zone crisis but Europe has not got back on to a path of growth. It is living through a phase of stagnation." IG's Alastair McCaig had strong words for Italy too. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IG GROUP MARKET ANALYST, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, SAYING: "By the same token they have got some austerity measures they need to incorporate and they haven't really utilised the time that they have been given by Mario Draghi's pandering to the markets and keeping attitudes calm over the last couple of years." No-one's expecting much pandering to Putin, even though one of his first social engagements is apparently a late-night party hosted by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

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A meeting of minds in Milan?

Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 02:03