By Lucy Jordan, Contributing Reporter
BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL – President Dilma Rousseff arrived in Los Cabos, Mexico Sunday to attend the 7th G-20 Summit of the world’s leading economies, where the Eurozone crisis and its effect on global growth took center stage. Although somewhat more stable Monday after Greece elected Antonis Samaras, Spain continues to trouble the markets.
It was expected Monday that Brazil would encourage the Eurozone to move away from the German-led austerity plan they have thus far followed with little substantive success, towards some form of stimulus spending.
“Brazil will hope that the EU will back off from the German austerity plan and follow [French President François] Hollande towards a good old Keynesian plan of investing more to create more jobs,” political scientist David Fleischer said Monday.
Up for discussion will be the $430 billion that G-20 member states, who between them account for eighty percent of global trade and ninety percent of GDP, promised to the IMF in April to assist trouble Eurozone countries.
Final pledges were due at the Los Cabos summit, but a source in the Brazilian finance ministry told Reuters last week that Brazil may limit its contribution unless concrete promises are made to boost the influence of emerging markets at the international table.
Shannon O’Neill, a Latin American analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations, said by email Monday that concerns over the Euro will continue to dampen global economic growth.
“Brazil’s positive performance in recent years gives it increasing clout on the world stage, and the announcements on caps to IMF … reflect the desire to have a better seat at the multilateral tables as the world deals collectively with these challenges.”
Professor Fleischer said that becoming a global power has been Brazil’s “over-riding objective” since Lula took office in 2003, and that Rousseff would maintain an assertive position at the talks.
A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said Monday that Rousseff was meeting with the other leaders of the BRICS nations that morning, to “coordinate their positions” for the G-20 meetings. Rousseff was also to have bilateral meetings with Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Over the past year, Russia has consistently resisted Western pressure to support tougher action against the Syrian government. Asked if Syria would be on the agenda during either Rousseff and Putin’s bilateral meeting or the G-20 meeting, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said only that: “Brazil is always very concerned with every issue that effects peace and security worldwide.”
Estadao de Sao Paulo reported Monday that President Rousseff will also use the G-20 meeting to urge leaders on the importance of a positive result at Rio+20. Expectations for the sustainable development summit are low, with little anticipation of a binding treaty on environmental issues.
“G-20’s big problem is the same as Rio+20’s,” said Professor Fleischer. “The so-called developed nations are in deep economic trouble and don’t want to get tasked with any money outlays at either summit.”