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G8 summit

Obama to meet Hollande before G8 summit

The new French president is set to visit the White House today.

NEWLY-ELECTED FRENCH president Francois Hollande will meet Barack Obama at the White House today, before both leaders head to a G8 summit.

The summit, at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, is expected to focus on the eurozone debt crisis which shows no sign of abating.

Hollande has expressed support for the introduction of new growth policies alongside austerity measures – a move Obama is likely to support, reports Reuters.

Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes appeared to confirm this, telling the BBC:

We’ve seen not just President Hollande but many different leaders within Europe acknowledge the importance of pursuing growth, at the same time as they’re pursuing the austerity targets, so we think that sets the basis for a good discussion.

There are hopes in some quarters that Obama could galvanise European leaders into taking more radical action against the debt crisis, which threatens the global economy on which his re-election chances partially depend.

“What can Obama do? He can say, ‘Look, guys, I’ll provide the leadership for America, but you have to provide the leadership where you have to,’” said Karel Lannoo, the head of the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies. “The best thing he can do is speak to Hollande.”

- Additional reporting from AP

More: Hollande hands new ministers 30 per cent pay cut>

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