The United States wants to help Europe beat its
economic crisis while respecting budget discipline, US President
Barack Obama said Monday in a telephone call with Italian Prime
Minister Enrico Letta.
Both the European Union and the US were badly affected by the global financial crisis that started in 2008, but in the first quarter of 2013, the US economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 per cent while the EU's gross domestic product shrank 0.7 per cent from the first quarter of 2012.
Obama told Letta that "the US administration confirms its commitment to cooperate with European leaders on bringing about a rapid end to the economic crisis and promoting initiatives that may stimulate growth while maintaining fiscal stability," the Italian prime minister's office said in a statement.
Letta took office in late April at the head of a grand coalition. His government is drawing up plans to fight youth unemployment and has urged the EU to focus its policies more on growth and less on austerity.
Obama and the Italian leader also discussed EU-US trade talks and crises in Syria, Libya and Afghanistan ahead of their first meeting at next month's Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland, Letta's office said.
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