Nov. 3 - Fast-moving events in Greece overshadowed the first day of a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in the French resort of Cannes, as world leaders anxiously urged Europe to take decisive action to solve the debt crisis. Joanna Partridge reports.
Cannes is used to the glitz and glamour of a film festival. Now the French resort is locked down with security - and at the centre of discussions about Greece's future in the euro zone. The summit of leaders from the G20 world economies has been overshadowed by concerns about Greek debt. U.S. President Barack Obama says he discussed the euro zone with the summit host, French President Nicolas Sarkozy. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama, saying (English): "I think it's no surprise that we spent most of our conversation focused on strengthening the global economic recovery, so that we are creating jobs for our people and stabilising the financial markets around the world. The most important aspect of our task over the next two days is to resolve the financial crisis here in Europe." Even before G20 meetings kicked off, some EU leaders met once again for talks about the debt crisis, as rumours flew that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was about to resign to make way for a coalition government. Spanish officials said the leaders discussed the possibility of providing credit to vulnerable euro zone members - such as Italy and Spain. All G20 delegates then gathered to discuss the global economic situation, growth and unemployment. PTC: The G20's had to scale back its grand plans for economic reform - as fighting the debt crisis has taken priority. G20 leaders were supposed to be discussing topics like reforming the global monetary system, and the possibility of introducing a financial transaction tax. On the sidelines of the G20 - business leaders have been meeting at the B20. President of the B20 and France's business federation - Laurence Parisot - says they have made some suggestions to the politicians. SOUNDBITE: Laurence Parisot, President of the B20, saying (English): "We asked them to move forward to all the issues related to trade. We know that if we boost trade, global trade, it will boost global growth, obviously." The G20 summit comes at a time of concern about growth globally - even in emerging markets - not just in Europe. And global development groups have told the G20 not to forget about the world's poorest - and called on them to find ways to boost growth. Joanna Partridge in Cannes for Reuters