G20 leaders to meet under threat of new global recession

PARIS, October 31, 2011 (AFP) – Leaders of the world’s biggest economies meet in Cannes this week as Europe tries to convince markets and US critics that its debt bail-out package is serious and urges China to fund it. “I think the result will be welcomed with relief by the whole world, which expected strong responses from the eurozone,” Sarkozy said, after a dramatic all-night EU summit in Brussels cobbled together a deal.

Markets gave the package a cautious welcome, but Washington and the BRICS — emerging giants Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — have not yet eased their pressure on Europe to put its house in order.

US President Barack Obama called the measures a “first step”.

Chinese officials have signalled they will not be Europe’s saviour and will seek new guarantees and concessions before they agree to invest tens of billions more in European bonds.

When France took over the rolling presidency of the G20, Sarkozy had grand plans to use the body to push through a raft of global reforms, but he will pass the baton to Mexico at the end of the summit after a tough few months.

He will hope, at least, to get his G20 partners — who between them lead countries that represent more