Finance ministers and central bankers from the
Group of 20 countries met in Mexico City for two days of talks on the
eurozone debt crisis, improving regulation of financial markets, and
the U.S. deficit.
"There is concern over how the so-called fiscal cliff will be resolved in the United States," Mexican Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade told reporters before a dinner late Sunday with his counterparts to open the talks.
He was referring to the risk posed by tax rises and spending cuts in the US due to take effect at the end of the year, and which have already earned Washington a warning from the International Monetary Fund that the country could fall back into recession.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi are among several who have cancelled their attendance at the two-day meeting, which brings together the world's top 20 developed and emerging economies.
It comes at the beginning of an economically and politically significant week, with the US presidential elections on Tuesday and the Greek parliament voting on a 13.5-billion-euro savings package on Wednesday.
Germany, which is sending Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann, is set to press for further efforts to clean up public finances and spur long-term targets for reducing public debt.
Current agreements by which G20 countries are supposed to cut their budget deficits in half by 2013 and stabilize their levels of debt are not enough, sources in the German Finance Ministry said.
Major G20 countries the United States, Britain and Japan are a long way from halving their budget deficits by next year.
The agenda will also include better regulation of the financial markets to curb risk-taking and increase supervision of private financial operators, as it has since the financial crisis erupted in 2008.
It is the last such gathering that Mexico will host before handing over the rotating presidency of the group to Russia for 2013.
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