G7 leaders pledge action on terrorism, refugees, slow growth
The leaders of the Group of Seven rich economies ended a summit on Friday by issuing an action plan for countering terrorism and other risks to peace and global growth, including the massive flows of refugees and migrants fleeing to Europe to escape conflict and poverty at home.
A sweeping declaration from the meeting at a scenic Japanese seaside resort addressed covered a universe of global and regional challenges, a breadth not matched by a depth of concrete measures.
The G-7 leaders claimed a “special responsibility” for beefing up policies to stimulate and sustain growth of their sluggish economies.
But their declaration glossed over disagreements over coordinating public spending policies to help perk up weak consumer spending and business investment, saying each country would take into account “country-specific circumstances.”
Germany, in particular, has balked at calls from other G-7 members to commit to an expansionary fiscal policy.
“Weak demand and unaddressed structural problems are the key factors weighing on actual and potential growth,” they said in the declaration. “We remain committed to ensuring that growth is inclusive and job-rich, benefiting all segments of our societies.”
In a nod to concern over how to pay for such spending, especially in Japan where the public debt is
more than twice the size of its economy, the communique includes a reference to the need to
ensure debt is “on a sustainable path.”