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Saturday 03rd of July 2010
June 27, 2010    

G20 summit sees protesters turn violent

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by Kay Murchie

This weekend’s G20 summit, held in Toronto, Canada, saw more than 400 protesters arrested.

Four police cars were set alight, while shop windows were broken with baseball bats and hammers, according to reports.

Similar protests have occurred during the summit in past years and this year was no different as demonstrators came in their droves to protest against political issues.

This weekend’s summit saw leaders move towards cutting their deficits by half between now and 2013, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters.

However, US President Barack Obama warned against fast and deep budget cuts, suggesting they could be harmful to global growth.

The UK, France, and Germany, have already announced tough measures to cut their deficits, despite warnings from the US, which is facing a $1.3 trillion debt.

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega also said emerging economies could be hit. “If the cuts take place in advanced countries it is worse,” he said.

“Because instead of stimulating growth they pay more attention to fiscal adjustments, and if they are exporters they will be reforming at our cost.”

In the meantime, leaders also called on emerging economies to allow their currencies to be more flexible.

Draft conclusions from the summit said: “Emerging surplus economies will undertake reforms tailored to country circumstances to… enhance rate flexibility.”

A weak currency makes that country’s exports cheaper, providing what critics say is an unfair trade advantage.

However, this is primarily aimed at China, which has been under severe pressure to remove its currency peg, in order to be allowed to rise against the US dollar.

Beijing has, however, ruled out a one-off appreciation and has previously said keeping the yuan stable is “an important contribution” to global recovery.

Meanwhile, the G20 summit followed a meeting of G8 group of industrialised nations.

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