Friday 9 December 2016

G7: Russia out in the cold as big seven meet up in the Alps

Nancy Moran

Published 08/06/2015 | 02:30

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US President Barack Obama, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attend a working dinner at the G7 summit in Elmau Castle near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, US President Barack Obama, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attend a working dinner at the G7 summit in Elmau Castle near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany

Leaders from the Group of Seven industrialised nations continue their two-day meeting today in the Bavarian Alps to discuss a range of topics, from the global economy to the conflict in Ukraine and fighting terrorism.

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Now down one member following Russia’s exclusion last year after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, Angela Merkel’s G-7 faces a series of existential crises that are in large part hers to solve.

Greece’s five-year battle to stay solvent runs the almost daily risk of failure, the European Union is struggling to maintain unanimity on sanctions against Russia, and nuclear talks with Iran are touch-and-go.

Those are challenges that US President Barack Obama will press European leaders to heed to ensure unity among the world’s leading advanced economies.

“It’s very important coming out of these G-7 meetings that the world is seen as speaking with one voice,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said prior to the event.

US pleas for more European self-reliance date to the end of the Cold War and remain unfinished business.

Elsewhere this week, US retail sales gained in May, while consumer confidence rose this month, separate reports will likely show.

Apple brings together software developers for a conference in San Francisco.

Netflix and Facebook are among companies holding shareholder meetings. Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer, reports earnings.

 Former US House Speaker J Dennis Hastert is due in court to answer charges that he dodged a banking law and lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Data today will also show that China’s trade surplus may have expanded in May as the global economy continues its recovery and domestic demand remained weak.

China’s exports shrank in April, adding downward pressure to an economy grappling with overcapacity and a property slump.

Also today, McDonalds reports global same-store sales for May after April’s fell 0.6pc to top analysts’ projections. The US fast-food chain plans to stop issuing sales data on a monthly basis as of July 1.

And the International Air Transport Association convenes in Miami for the world’s largest gathering of airline leaders.

Tomorrow, the UK House of Commons has a first debate and vote on a bill to hold a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017 once Prime Minister David Cameron has renegotiated membership terms.

The Labour Party has pledged to back the bill.

Also tomorrow, German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble; Google chief executive Eric Schmidt; European Union Commissioner Guenther Oettinger; European Central Bank Banking Supervisor Daniele Nouy and CEOs from major European companies will attend an economic conference hosted by Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in Berlin.

On Wednesday, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will address the annual Mansion House dinner in the City of London, where it has been speculated Mr Osborne may outline plans for the privatisation of RBS, which could have an impact on Ulster Bank.

On Friday, consumer sentiment in the US will have probably increased from a six-month low, underpinned by job gains and stocks near all-time highs.

Domestically, economic releases include industrial production and turnover from the Central Statistics Office on Wednesday, as well as the consumer price index and trade statistics on Thursday.

Today, Central Bank deputy governor (Central Banking), Stefan Gerlach will speak at the Twenty-First Dubrovnik Economic Conference.

And, of course, expect more news from Greece.

The country delayed repayment of an IMF loan last Friday and a deputy minister said Athens might call snap elections to break an impasse with lenders that threatens to push the country into bankruptcy and out

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