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ABC News Breakfast -

View in ParlView

Subjects: G20 summit; Eurozone crisis; Greek election

PM: I've just arrived here in Los Cabos for a trip that really is in two parts.

First, I will be attending the G20 and meeting with international business leaders.

Then, having discussed circumstances in the global economy and the need for growth, I will be
travelling to Rio to discuss sustainability - both environmental sustainability and social
sustainability.

Whilst the Australian economy is strong, this meeting of the G20 comes at a time when yet again all
eyes are on Greece and we see a faltering economy in Europe.

Now what happens in Europe does matter to the economy of the world.

Europe is the single biggest economic zone in the world, so Australia does have a deep interest in
what happens in Europe.

We do of course directly trade with Europe, but far more significantly our major trading partners
in our region export to Europe, and so what matters to Europe matters to them, and therefore
matters to Australia's ability to export our goods to those nations.

So here at the G20 I will be urging my European counterparts to take decisive action on the issues
in Europe and the eurozone.

Particularly, I will be saying to my European counterparts that they need to be focussing on
further banking and fiscal integration in Europe, that they need to be working on the
recapitalisation of stressed banks - the strengthening of stressed banks, and thirdly they need to
be focussing on growth.

Now in recent months there's been a renewed focus on the need for growth.

Fiscal consolidation alone is not enough. Ultimately, the answer to this economic crisis is growth.

It is growth that enables you to see jobs and investment; it is growth that enables you to realise
your fiscal plan and to put your budget on a sustainable footing.

Here in Los Cabos my aims for the G20 are as follows.

I will be advocating the need for countries to commit to country-specific action plans on jobs and
growth.

I will be advocating the need to fiercely resist protectionism in all its forms.

I will be seeking agreement on trade facilitation; that is, enabling trade to flow more freely.

And finally, I will also be focussing on the need for global growth. This is what is important to
the Australian economy now.

Australia's economy is strong. We should all be proud of that. We built it together.

But what happens in the global economy matters to us, and a stronger and more resilient global
economy is in Australia's interests.

I'm very happy to take questions. Yes.

JOURNALIST: Do you have any initial response to - it looks like New Democracy may be the dominant
force in the Greek government in a form of coalition government, which would be pro-euro.

Does that strike you as being significant?

PM: Look, I'm not going to speculate on exit polls, comment on exit polls.

What I would say is that a strong Europe is in the interests of Australia and in the interests of
the world.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, you spoke about the need to have further integration on banking and
fiscal policies.

Is it true that the G20's really about trying to put pressure on the leaders and that the European
leadership will meet in another few weeks when they will actually make those decisions, is this
just about trying to increase the pressure on them?

PM: Look, of course here at the G20 we have a number of European leaders, but not all European
leaders, and European leaders will meet in their own meetings later this month.

But I believe it is appropriate that here at the G20 we have a focus on what Europe needs to do, so
I will be discussing that with European counterparts.

But our focus does need to be strongly on what the world needs to do at this time to strengthen the
global economy.

So, as I say, that does come down to a few very significant measures. We do have to resist
protectionism in all its forms.

I do want to see an agreement to strengthen trade facilitation. I do want to see countries
committing to individual action plans on jobs, and of course there is the question of the IMF
resourcing.

At the last G20 meeting I was an advocate for strengthening the resourcing of the IMF.

Australia has played its part, and I want to see other nations take forward their commitments to
strengthening IMF resourcing.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, you and the Treasurer have written directly to all the other leaders of
the G20 countries.

Why did you feel the need to make that direct plea in writing rather than just in your address to
the plenary here at the meeting?

PM: Well we believed it was important to take all steps to make Australia's views known, so I have
authored a letter with the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer.

I've also authored a letter with the President of the Republic of Korea, of South Korea, putting
forward our views so that they can get maximum impact and airplay here.

JOURNALIST: Have any of the leaders responded as yet?

PM: My understanding from the senior officials' discussions is that the letters have become a
talking point, and there has been focus on them.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, there's a Galaxy poll out today showing Labor's still behind.

Why isn't Labor getting the benefits of the boom?

PM: Well I've answered these questions many, many times in Australia, so I'm not going to become a
commentator on the polls at any time, certainly not tens of thousands of kilometres away.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, on protectionism, the International Chamber of Commerce has said today
that the results of the G20 in Cannes were listed as incomplete as far as it goes on protection and
trade.

Do you have a view that this should go further than Cannes on trade and protectionism?

PM: I think it's important that we maintain our current stance to resist further moves towards
protectionism.

Of course, since the Global Financial Crisis started it has been a key risk that individual
countries view it in their interest to start turning away from trade and global markets, and if one
country starts doing that then it becomes harder for other countries to resist doing it too.

So here I will certainly be advocating that we continue to resist the siren song of protectionism.

On building on what was achieved in France, we did go into the meeting in France - I did at that
time very strongly advocate the need for further IMF resourcing.

We've played our part and we will be wanting to see other nations take forward the commitments they
made there.

JOURNALIST: The United States and Canada refuse to do that. Does that disappoint you?

PM: Look there were particular issues for those nations, but there are countries that did step
forward when we were in France to say that they would assist with IMF resourcing, and we do want to
see those commitments taken forward.

JOURNALIST: The G20, in Australia, are you likely to make an announcement on that?

PM: You'll have an announcement on that in coming weeks.

JOURNALIST: Not at this forum?

PM: Not at this forum, no.

[ENDS]