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2012年5月22日 (火)

G8首脳宣言 ギリシャのユーロ離脱に懸念

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 22, 2012)
G-8 rightly concerned over possible Greek eurozone exit
G8首脳宣言 ギリシャのユーロ離脱に懸念(5月21日付・読売社説)

Leaders of the Group of Eight industrial nations, including the United States and Japan, adopted a declaration at their summit meeting in the United States.

The declaration agreed on "the importance of a strong and cohesive eurozone" to overcome the European sovereign debt crisis, the main focus of the meeting, and urged Greece, which triggered the crisis, to remain in the eurozone. We find this agreement quite significant.

Greece, which is mired in political confusion, will hold a new election on June 17. Under one undesirable scenario, the country may find it difficult to reconstruct its economy and be forced to leave the eurozone.

In that event, the economic crisis in the eurozone will worsen and the euro will tumble, possibly further accelerating confusion in the global market.

It was appropriate that the leaders expressed their sense of crisis in the declaration, saying "significant headwinds persist" in the global economy, and called on Greece and other European countries, including Germany and France, to make self-reliant efforts to resolve the crisis.

We hope that the Greek public will make a sensible decision in the upcoming election.


Greek austerity widely opposed

Yet, there is deep-rooted opposition in Greece to austerity measures aimed at fiscal reconstruction. In France, Francois Hollande, who pledged to review the country's austerity program, won the recent presidential election before participating in the G-8 meeting.

"Our imperative is to promote growth and jobs," the declaration said, laying out the policy of balancing economic growth and the restoration of fiscal health, a move that indicates the leaders' reflection on heavily austerity-focused measures that have been adopted.

It is important for individual countries not only to ensure fiscal discipline but also attach importance to growth strategies in order to realize economic recovery. But it is difficult to balance these two goals.

The first focus of attention will now be how European countries deal with this problem.

Germany, which puts priority on austerity, and France, which has moved to change course, should cooperate with each other and draw up steps that will lead to Europe's restoration.

For Japan, this is not a fire on the other side of the river. The government must pass a bill to raise the consumption tax rate as soon as possible, a move aimed at realizing the fiscal reconstruction and economic expansion at the same time.


Cooperation on oil significant

It also was appropriate for the G-8 leaders to have expressed their will to realize international collaboration to prepare for an expected surge in crude oil prices, an issue of concern for the global economy, in the declaration.

Regarding North Korea, the G-8 leaders also agreed to call on the U.N. Security Council to "take action" in the event the country conducts a nuclear test. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda led the leaders' discussion on this issue by showing his strong determination, saying, "The international community mustn't reward North Korea's bad behavior."

To prevent North Korea from conducting a nuclear test, China's role will be vital in urging the country to exercise self-restraint. The G-8 countries must continue to press China to play its part in resolving this problem.

As for the continuing tense situation in Syria, the declaration said the G-8 countries remain deeply concerned about the situation and remain resolved to consider further U.N. measures when necessary, a decision we find appropriate.

Establishing the independence of Afghanistan, where confusion lingers, is another urgent task. Japan, which will host a conference to support Afghanistan's reconstruction in July, should play a proactive role in establishing an international system to realize the country's independence.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 21, 2012)
(2012年5月21日01時52分  読売新聞)


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