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The BBC's Stephen Evans in Washington
"Police are braced for trouble"
 real 56k

Saturday, 28 April, 2001, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Divisions loom over G7 meeting
Paul O'Neill, US Treasury Secretary
O'Neill believes the European Central Bank could do more
By Steven Evans in Washington

Finance ministers and central bankers from the world's seven biggest economies have gathered in Washington to discuss the slowdown in global growth.

A series of meetings will involve all the important economic policymakers from the new US Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, to the British Chancellor, Gordon Brown, to the President of the European Central Bank, Wim Duisenberg.

Wim Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank
Duisenberg: Reluctant to cut rates in Euroland
The Group of Seven (G7) talks take place against a background of transatlantic disagreement over how to prevent a recession.

They have been deep divisions over how to stop the current American slowdown turning into out and out global recession, with the Americans and British wanting the ECB to cut interest rates in the Euro countries.

The European Bank's reluctance stems from continuing inflation in Germany.

It may also cite the latest American figures showing buoyant production.

There is now a consensus that recession is unlikely, though the Americans, along with Mr Brown and the International Monetary Fund, feel the ECB could still do more to eliminate the risk altogether.

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See also:

27 Apr 01 | Business
US economy stronger than expected
27 Apr 01 | Business
Q&A: What caused the US slowdown?
27 Apr 01 | Business
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18 Feb 01 | Business
Economic growth will be 'slower'
16 Feb 01 | Business
Japanese economy fears grow
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