April 18 - Ahead of upcoming meetings of G20 finance ministers and the semi-annual gathering of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the U.S. is playing a central role in helping Europe- and any suggestion to the contrary is wrong. Bobbi Rebell reports.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended the United States' role in helping Europe deal with its debt crisis. He spoke at the Brookings Institution ahead of a series of meetings that will focus on Europe. SOUNDBITE: U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are the only ones providing assistance directly to Europe, other countries are not willing to do it directly and they are only doing it through the IMF in that context, and of course, the IMF is backed up by the United States in significant effect. So, it is a mistake to see this and suggest that the United States is holding back from and standing apart from this broad effort." On the U.S. domestic front, Geithner says he is taking a balanced approach to economic reforms. SOUNDBITE: U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY TIMOTHY GEITHNER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The case for balance and fiscal reforms is not just an economic case or a political reality but there is more of a moral question and a pragmatic economic question about how you preserve room to make investments to grow in a long run, in infrastructure, innovation and education, and make sure you are protecting critical aspects of the safety net, not just for low income Americans but for middle class retirees going forward." Friday, he will participate in the Group of 20 Finance ministers meetings, followed by semi-annual sessions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.