The U.S. urged European nations to scale back their austerity programs of spending cuts and tax increases in favor of more stimulus to boost growth and combat high unemployment in countries such as Spain and Greece.
But the push was met with resistance from Germany and Britain, which believe heavily indebted European nations must reduce their debts to give markets confidence and keep government borrowing costs low. In the end, the financial leaders sought to bridge the difference by issuing economic blueprints that left room for both the growth and austerity camps to claim victory.
The G-20 nations did reject proposals to issue hard targets for reducing budget deficits, a victory for the United States and Japan, which had argued for more flexibility.
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