In European crisis, Obama sees risks back home

November 4, 2011 • World News

In this picture released by German Government’s press office, US President Barack Obama, right, talks with German chancellor Angela Merkel, prior to the start of the G20 summit in Cannes, France, Thursday Nov, 3, 2011. (AP Photo/German Government /Guido Bergmann)

CANNES, France (AP) — His political fortunes and his nation’s economy at risk, President Barack Obama on Thursday implored European leaders to swiftly work out a eurozone rescue plan, aware of the potential fallout at home if they fail.

Obama, at the French Riviera for a summit of the Group of 20 leading industrialized and developing economies, pledged to be a partner in helping the Europeans cope with the economic emergency. But his aides insisted that Europe’s problem, brought on by the threat of a Greek default, was one it had to fix.

Taking his jobs-first message abroad, Obama said the goal was getting people back to work. “That means,” Obama said, “we’re going to have to resolve the situation here in Europe.”

For Obama, an incumbent seeking a second term in a time of economic peril, the stakes in Europe are immense.

Europe is the largest U.S. trading partner, and its intertwined financial institutions mean that a worsening crisis in Europe inevitably would spread across the Atlantic. The timing could not be worse as the weak U.S. economy is beginning to show some signs of life even with the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1 percent.

Obama’s economic options and his leverage are limited, and the European debt crisis consumed all attention at the summit meeting.

The Greek government was in danger of collapsing over Prime Login to read more

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