G20 leaders meet in Mexico as fear of Greece's exit from euro fades - InfoNews

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G20 leaders meet in Mexico as fear of Greece's exit from euro fades

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, receives the military salute from a member of his crew as he arrives to Los Cabos international airport to attend the G-20 Summit in Baja California Sur, Mexico, Sunday, June 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
June 18, 2012 - 4:05 AM

LOS CABOS, Mexico - Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his fellow G20 leaders will open their annual summit today breathing a little easier about the fate of the global economy.

There was enormous anxiety as leaders gathered at the Mexican resort of Los Cabos waited for the final results of Sunday's crucial election in Greece.

And their relief was palpable when pro-bailout parties, led by the conservative New Democracy party, won enough seats to form a joint government.

A win by Greece’s anti-austerity parties could have resulted in the country defaulting on its debts and getting kicked out of the eurozone — a scenario that would likely cause untold turmoil on world financial markets.

Many Greeks reject the tough austerity measures the country agreed to in return for its two multibillion-euro rescue packages to help pay off its massive debt.

Last month, Greek voters punished politicians who backed the belt-tightening in favour of fringe parties that promised to ditch the austerity measures.

World leaders were quick to welcome Sunday's election outcome.

"We look forward to working with the next government of Greece, and believe that it is in all our interests for Greece to remain in the Euro area while respecting its commitments," said a statement released on behalf of the G7 leaders in Los Cabos.

However, despite the optimistic election result in Greece, Europe's financial woes are still expected to dominate the two-day summit in Mexico.

Meanwhile, Twitter was abuzz Sunday with speculation Canada will be allowed to join talks on a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Canada's trade restrictions on dairy and poultry products present the biggest obstacle to joining the nine-country talks.

Prime Minister Harper could have an announcement on Canada's bid before he returns to Canada on Tuesday.

Before the summit officially begins this afternoon, Harper will be meeting this morning with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

— With files from The Associated Press.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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