Obama will bring advice and pressure to G20 meeting focused on Eurozone

President Obama will urge European leaders to move quickly in implementing a bailout plan agreed upon last week when he visits the G20 summit in Cannes, France, later this week.

Senior administration officials indicated Monday morning that Obama will pressure EU leaders to move fast to implement the plan, asserting that European countries have the resources to handle the bailout.

Obama, who has in recent weeks been focused on selling his jobs bill, will be attending his fifth G20 summit since taking office. 

The crisis in Europe has added significantly to the stalled economic recovery in the U.S., and is endangering Obama’s own reelection bid.

“Recovery in the U.S. remains fragile and still too vulnerable to disruption beyond our shores,” said Lael Brainard, Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, told reporters on Monday. “Obviously, the challenges facing Europe have significant implications for the U.S. economy and for the global economy.” 

The U.S. has come under criticism at times for pressing Europe’s leaders to take steps similar to those the Bush and Obama administrations employed during the 2008-09 financial crisis. 

Obama also has been pressured by some Republicans to oppose any funding for Europe through the International Monetary Fund. These Republicans argue that since the U.S. contributes to the IMF, this would represent a U.S. contribution to an EU bailout. 

Obama will not be visiting France with a blank check or any plans to contribute financially to the bailout, officials stressed, but will talk about the U.S. actions in 2008 and 2009.

“I think President Obama has had a number of important conversations with his European counterparts, and we have shared back and forth some of the experiences we had during the crisis, and in particular, the need to move with overwhelming force,” Brainard said.

She also said the EU “has the resources and the capacity” to deal with the crisis. 

“We’ll continue to support our European allies in their efforts to address this crisis, alongside the IMF and our G20 partners,” she said.