European leaders at the Group of 20
summit in Mexico are feeling the pressure as the U.S. and
developing countries join in pushing for a resolution to the
eurozone's economic crisis amid fears for the global economy.
But European Union leaders said before the start of the two-day summit that they will not tolerate lectures on how the bloc should handle its problems.
"We are extremely open and we are engaging with our partners, but we certainly are not coming here to receive lessons from nobody," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso insisted before meeting with G20 leaders.
Emerging economies exposed to the winds of the global economy expressed particular concern about Europe's fate.
The five members of the BRICS countries warned Monday that the euro crisis posed a danger to the broader world economy and called for "cooperative solutions" to address the problem.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa called on their fellow industrial and emerging economies to send a signal on Europe.
"The leaders emphasized that given the current global situation and the need to bolster market confidence, it was important that the G20 summit issue a strong statement of intent in combating the international slowdown and the effects of the eurozone crisis," the Indian Foreign Ministry said.
For China, the G20 summit is particularly important for getting a handle on Europe's debt problems and limiting any risk of the crisis spreading, Chinese Deputy Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said.
The world's leading exporter is experiencing a drop in demand from its largest trade partners and from the effects of the worsening condition of the world economy, he said.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak called for a thorough overhaul of the eurozone's financial system so that it no longer poses a global threat, news agency Yonhap reported.
US President Barack Obama was to have met with European leaders on the sidelines of the summit late Monday after a dinner focused on the global economy. The meeting was cancelled after it ran late.
He already met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and they agreed "further steps for political integration" in Europe are necessary, according to an unnamed German government source.
She stressed earlier in the day that all the world's biggest economies must do their part to boost the global economy.
"Everyone here at the world economic conference still has to do their homework," Merkel said.
European leaders at the summit would present a united front, according to the chancellor, who said they would make clear that problems within the eurozone and the entire European Union would be addressed decisively.
Ben Rhodes, a White House advisor on national security issues, said Europeans must engineer their own solutions and that the G20 is unlikely to produce resolution ahead of a European Union leaders' summit later this month.
"We're very familiar now with the different European positions and are able to I think engage in a constructive way with the recognition that it's ultimately a European challenge that will be solved by Europeans, with European political, European resources."
Observers noted the process toward a solution will take time.
"Global markets and non-European leaders are looking for a quick resolution of the euro crisis," said Alan Alexandroff of the University of Toronto, who studies global summits. "Yet European leaders made clear that needed integration - fiscal, banking and institutional - will still take months if not years."
European leaders pushed back against expectations that they would be led into a solution pushed by others.
Barosso argued that Europe is not responsible for the world's financial woes.
"The challenges are not all European. They are global," he said, pointing out that the international economic problems started with a financial crisis in the United States four years ago.
EU President Herman Van Rompuy agreed, noting that other countries have "huge external imbalances" to correct.
"This crisis in the eurozone will take time to solve, there are no quick fixes, no silver bullets, but we will do all it takes to see it through," he added.
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