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Sen. Jack Reed: 'Austerity is not working in Europe'

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Wrapping up their annual Group of 20 meeting, world leaders looked to settle economic qualms, debating stimulus versus austerity. Conservative leaders of the United Kingdom, South Korea and Germany voiced strong support for austerity and warned that budget cuts were an important part of restoring fiscal order, according to the AP.

During a Tuesday press conference, Merkel noted President Obama was also in agreement about the ineffectiveness of a stimulus.

"The American president said and we on the European side said, that doesn't work," she said. "The debts are too high for that."

But Reed sees the president's agreement as up for debate, saying the only way Europe can work out its economic woes is if they reach a balance between short- and long-term growth.

"I think that it's a matter of interpretation, perhaps," he said. "I think the president has made it very clear, unless there's the growth, short-term growth along with long-term imposition of fiscal discipline that the Europe is not going to be able to sort of work itself out of the problem.

"And that's not a feeling shared uniquely by President Obama," he continued. "The irony here, and the policies the Europeans have pursued — austerity principally — have not only caused significant unemployment but also widened the deficit and made their financial situations more precarious and weakened their banking institutions. It hasn't led to success."