G20 finance ministers and central bank governors put strong pressure on euro zone leaders at a two-day meeting in Paris to come up with a convincing solution to the bloc's debt crisis and avert the risk of a fresh global recession.
Following are key quotes from closing news conferences on Saturday by G20 chair France and other delegations:
CANADIAN FINANCE MINISTER JIM FLAHERTY
The risk of recession would be increased dramatically were the Europeans to fail to accomplish the goals they have set for themselves on October 23, followed by Cannes at the beginning of November.
U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER
On how the euro zone plan is progressing:
Based on my extensive discussion with them over the last six weeks or so and looking at what they're saying in public too, I am encouraged by the direction and by the speed at which they're moving now and by the shape of the strategy. But as you know, it's all in the detail and it's very hard to judge what in fact will happen until you see its basic shape.
The leaders of Germany and France have committed publicly to put this framework in place over the next two weeks, before G20 leaders convene in Cannes. They clearly have more work to do on strategy and details, but when France and Germany agree on a plan together and decide to act, big things are possible.
On the IMF:
The IMF has a substantial arsenal of financial resources, and we would support further use of those existing resources to supplement a comprehensive, well-designed European strategy alongside a more substantial commitment of European resources.
A successful global response would be strengthened by more progress toward domestic demand led growth in the major emerging market economies and a more rapid pace of exchange rate appreciation by China.
FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER FRANCOIS BAROIN
On the euro zone's debt crisis:
That took up a little part of our dinner last night. We presented ... elements of the global and lasting package which heads of state and government will present at the Oct 23 summit. It responds to the Greek issue, the maximization of the EFSF, on the level of core tier 1 with a calendar which will be coordinated by the heads of government for the recapitalization of the banks. It responds, naturally, on the governance of the euro zone... We still have a week to finalize it.
I have to tell you in truth that the results of the European Council on October 23 will be decisive.
On discussions with Berlin on Greek debt:
We've made good progress with the German finance minister. There are points of agreement which are emerging rather clearly and we will have an agreement on this point, but it would be premature to say what accord will emerge on Oct 23.
On IIF opposition to more losses for Greek creditor banks:
We will find an answer. You know the French position which is quite clear: we will refuse any solution that leads to a credit event.
On banks and liquidity:
Central banks will continue to supply banks with necessary liquidity, we will ensure banks have the necessary capital. This is a very important message central banks are sending.
We have decided on a very substantial strengthening of financial regulation.
We prepared ambitious decisions for Cannes including a list of systemically important financial institutions.
SAUDI CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR MUHAMMAD AL-JASSER
Not only Saudi Arabia but members of the G20 are convinced that the challenge facing the global economy is the European challenge in the short term.
However, we felt from the interventions of our European colleagues that they appreciate the gravity of the situation and they are determined to do what it takes to safeguard the European economy and financial markets.
They told us decisions will be taken at the October 23 summit that will reassure Europeans first and the rest of the world second that Europe is not only able but also willing to do what it takes to safeguard European markets. I take what they told us at face value and I have no reason doubt the determination.
BANK OF CANADA GOVERNOR MARK CARNEY
We have, since Washington, been somewhat encouraged by the seriousness with which European officials are taking the situation, are understanding the situation, the measures that are under consideration for the banking system and to build a firewall around the affected sovereigns, but none of this matters till actions are actually taken, and so we await with great anticipation what actions are announced in the coming weeks.
IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR CHRISTINE LAGARDE
On liquidity measures:
A number of precautionary measures were set up in the crisis triggered by Lehman Brothers, in particular, flexible credit lines. That's the direction we need to go in, in particular by focusing on short-term liquidity instruments for non-consenting victims of the economic crisis.
EU ECONOMIC AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER OLLI REHN
This meeting has been a very important stepping stone toward the Cannes summit. The communique of this meeting rightly underlines the urgency and need for decisive action to overcome the sovereign debt crisis and restore confidence in our economies.
The communique welcomes, since the Washington meeting three weeks ago, that in the EU the reform of the economic governance has been concluded.
It is a very important reform ... It will help us to prevent future crisis
Beyond these positive steps, and in order to break the vicious circle, ... we put last week on the table a comprehensive plan, a road map. I am pleased to say that this plan received today a warm welcome from our G20 partners
JAPANESE FINANCE MINISTER JUN AZUMI
Europe needs to get its act together because unless the crisis is put to an end, it will start to affect emerging economies which have enjoyed strong growth.
The G20 reconfirmed in the communique that excessive exchange rate volatility will have adverse effects on economic stability. Japan's view on currency moves was thus taken into account.
BANK OF JAPAN GOVERNOR MASAAKI SHIRAKAWA
Japan's economy is picking up but we're focusing on downside risks given heightening global economic uncertainty and the effect of yen rises.
Tackling Europe's debt problem will contribute to global economic stability and (help ease) yen rises. I've urged European nations to make strong efforts in dealing with the problem.
SOUTH KOREAN FINANCE MINISTER BAHK JAE-WAN
We expect inflationary pressures to ease significantly and the economy is doing fine.
He said South Korea's official inflation target for 2011 was 4 percent and that he was not worried about capital outflows due to global economic turbulence.
(Reporting by Paris G20 team)