G7 finance ministers, central bankers to meet in Dresden
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven wealthiest nations meet in Dresden this week to discuss the health of the global economy and financial regulation, with Greece also certainly on the agenda.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has invited his counterparts and their central bank chiefs from Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the United States, for a meeting starting Wednesday and "an in-depth exchange of views" in the eastern German city.
But there will also be other experts seated around the table, Schaeuble said in an interview with German public radio Deutschlandfunk at the weekend.
For the first time, "we've also specifically invited a number of the world's leading economists and monetary policy experts so that we can think about and find better solutions" to today's pressing economic policy issues, he said, such as striking a balance between budget consolidation and investment, and the rules of the international financial architecture.
A "real novelty" will be a "symposium" organised for Thursday morning, where the finance ministers will meet seven top economists, such as Nouriel Roubini, Kenneth Rogoff and even Larry Summers, former US Treasury Secretary.
And contrary to past practice, the German government does not plan to issue a final communique when the meeting wraps up on Friday.
- Greece's troubles -
Schaeuble conceded that Greece would also "certainly be on the agenda."
He insisted that Greece's troubles were "not a problem that the G7 can solve. But it would be illusory to expect us not to talk about it and for our colleagues and partners from the US, Canada and Japan not to ask what's going on."
In addition, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and the EU Commissioner For Economic and Monetary Affairs, Pierre Moscovici -- all key players in the Greek dossier -- will all be in Dresden.
The IMF, ECB and EU Commission -- previously known as the "troika" of Greece's creditors -- are trying to hammer out a debt deal with Athens, in return for pledges by the Greek government to push through crucial economic reforms.
"Of course, we will talk about it, but the problem still has to be resolved in Greece," Schaeuble said.
Talks on unlocking some 7.2 billion euros in remaining bailout cash for Greece were set to resume in Brussels on Tuesday. According to Athens, the two sides are still apart on tax issues, social insurance, labour rights and the size of Greece's budget surplus. The government hopes to secure an agreement by early June at the latest.
- Other issues -
The Dresden meeting will also examine the current high level of volatility on the financial markets and the outlook for global growth against a backdrop of disappointing data.
The G7 ministers will also discuss the battle to cut off financing to terror groups such as the Islamic State.
On the first evening of the meeting, a ceremony will be held in Dresden's reconstructed Frauenkirche, the church almost totally destroyed in the bombing of Dresden by the British and US allies during World War II and the remaining ruins of which were left as a war memorial.
The church was rebuilt following German unification and finally reconsecrated in 2005.
The city of Dresden itself has hit the headlines around the world in recent months because it was here that the anti-Islam movement, Pegida, was born.
© 2015 AFP