April 21 - IMF officials say Europe must follow through on tough economic reforms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Global finance chiefs pressed Europe on Saturday (April 21) to take advantage of newly increased financial buffers and make the lasting reforms needed to tackle its debt crisis, which is threatening the world recovery. A day after advanced and emerging countries agreed to double the firepower of the International Monetary Fund to help contain Europe's debt crisis, the IMF's governing panel said the 17-nation euro area must make more cuts to government debt burdens. IMF Director Christine Lagarde said discussions went "extremely well". "As you can imagine we talked a lot about certain regions, we talked a lot about certain countries, the Euro area, the United States of America, the right balance between emerging market economies and other advanced economies and all of that with that perspective of that medium term anchoring that is so needed, both for fiscal policies and for the purpose of stimulating that growth and this job creation that is so much needed," she said. The statement issued by the panel did not make policy recommendations for other developed economies by name although it said advanced economies generally needed to tighten their budgets but not excessively. The head of the panel, Singapore's Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, said it was critical to get back to "normal" economic growth in two to three years in as much of the advanced world as possible, otherwise fiscal sustainability would not be possible either. He told a news conference that discussions on Saturday were "about the real theater of policy action which about fiscal reforms and structural reforms, not just in Europe although that is obviously an important focus of our attentions but also in the United States as well as more generally amongst all players in the international economy." Throughout three days of meetings in Washington, top global finance officials tried to keep up the pressure on Europe to follow through on tough economic reforms that would get to the root of the region's debt problems.