'Time to reduce the deficits': Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted Friday that G8 members immediately should start to cut their deficits, ahead of a summit set to focus on the global economic crisis.
"It is time to reduce the deficits. Europe has experienced what it means to have too big deficits," she told journalists, before leaders from the Group of Eight richest nations were due to meet in Canada.
Europe has come under increasing pressure from the United States to focus on measures to stimulate economic growth, rather than rein in spending programs put in place to combat the worst recession in decades.
But Merkel, head of Europe's largest economy, has led moves to slash spending in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis that forced Berlin to stump up the lion's share of cash for an unprecedented rescue mechanism.
Critics have said that the more than 80 billion euros (98 billion dollars) in savings announced by Merkel over the next four years, which mirror similar efforts in other European countries like Britain, will hit growth.
© 2010 AFP