U.S. President Barack Obama urged world leaders to follow his lead on regulatory reform on Friday before the G20 summit, while other countries touted their swifter progress in dealing with debt mountains that threaten the global recovery.
The Group of 20 meeting in Toronto on Saturday and Sunday brings together major rich and developing countries to discuss the next steps after the worst financial crisis in 80 years.
Following are quotes from leaders and others at the summit, which began with a separate meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) richest countries on Friday.
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
on the need to coordinate G20 policies to strengthen the global economy:
"We need to act in concert for a simple reason: this crisis proved and events continue to affirm that our national economies are inextricably linked."
on U.S. financial sector reform:
"We are poised to pass the toughest financial reform since the ones we created in the aftermath of the Great Depression."
"Our economic growth and prosperity depend on a strong, robust financial sector, and I will continue to do what I can to foster and support a dynamic private sector. But we've all seen what happens when there's inadequate oversight and insufficient transparency on Wall Street."
GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL
on how best to assure sustained economic health in the aftermath of the financial crisis:
"Germany and the European Union have a firm position: we have had large economic programs ... we have now returned to robust growth-rates and so it is time to reduce deficits."
"Intelligent saving and sustainable growth need not be a contradiction."
"We all have a common responsibility for structural reforms ... the discussion was not controversial, but was based on great mutual understanding."
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON
on why some countries need to get a handle on their debt and deficit problems quickly:
"The risk to us, and the Americans and others recognize this, is not taking action. The G8 will actually conclude that those countries with the worst problems need to accelerate their action, which is what we have done."
"Of course, looking across the world there is still the underlying problem of the big surplus countries, like China, and the big deficit countries, like parts of western Europe and America, and we have got to deal with those imbalances. But part of dealing with the imbalances is for the worst deficit countries to roll up their sleeves, get on with the job and make sure they are living within their means."
on whether he plans to watch Sunday's England-Germany World Cup game with Germany's Merkel:
"There is an idea we might try and watch it together. I will try not to wrestle her to the ground during penalties, but we will have to see."
OECD SECRETARY GENERAL ANGEL GURRIA
on the tensions between economic recovery and budget austerity:
"It's not a dilemma. It's a fool's dilemma. You have to do both."
"If there's a fire we all know what to do. We get a hose, we get a pail of water, spit on it, throw Coca Cola on it or whatever to put it out. Right now the fire's over. We saved the house, mostly, but you've got to paint it, plaster it, whatever."
EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JOSE MANUEL BARROSO
on Europe's priorities for the next stage of the economic recovery:
"This will not be a drastic change overnight but there is no room for more deficit spending. The last few months have shown us. Without fiscal consolidation we spend our way into a new crisis."
"Fiscal tightening is not an end in itself. It is a way to restore confidence."
on the need for the G8 rich countries to deliver unmet aid pledges to the world's poor:
"We have to say today we have not met all the commitments ... if we want to be successful we'll have to speed up our work."
CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER
on launching a new call for funds to support mother-and-child health in the developing world, a key U.N. development goal:
"Canada led the way in mobilizing support among G8 and non-G8 leaders, key donors and private foundations for this initiative to reduce the mortality rates of mothers and their children. We have been successful."
LABOR ACTIVIST AT ANTI-G20 PROTEST IN TORONTO
on why demonstrators are angry:
"Police are the shock troops of austerity -- don't be afraid, don't be intimidated."
"Down with the G20 and everything it stands for!"
(Compiled by Andrew Quinn; Editing by Mario Di Simine)
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