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Bush to Meet European Leaders for Financial Crisis Talks

  • VOA News

An overhaul of the global financial system will be on the agenda on Saturdaywhen U.S. President George Bush meets with key European leaders. But U.S. officials are warning the world should not expect any major breakthroughs.

President Bush is scheduled to host French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso for talks on the crumbling world economy outside Washington at the Camp David Presidential retreat.

They are also expected to discuss a proposed economic summit with leaders of the Group of Eight (including the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada, and Russia) and other nations. A White House spokeswoman (Dana Perino) says no date has been set.

In his weekly radio address today (Saturday), President Bush tried again to reassure Americans that his administration's actions will help the economy recover in time.

In the Democratic radio response, Congressman Rahm Emanuel blamed Mr. Bush's economic policies for the U.S. economic crisis. The lawmaker pushed for a Democratic plan that targets help for middle class Americans.

Economic reports paint a mixed picture of the crisis. Some economists say there is evidence that stalled credit markets -- a big part of the financial crisis -- are starting to improve.

But the U.S. Commerce Department said the number of new homes under construction fell to a 17-year low in September. And a separate (University of Michigan) report said consumer confidence dropped sharply (by nearly 13 percentage points to a reading of 57-point-five) during the month.

U.S. stock markets posted losses Friday after a day of volatile trading, while European markets closed with strong gains. Key Asian markets closed before Mr. Bush spoke, and they had mixed results.

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