President urges EU leaders to solve financial crisis, comment on Iran

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President urges EU leaders to solve financial crisis, comment on Iran

(8 Dec 2011)
1. US President Barack Obama walks into White House briefing room
2. Cutaway of reporters
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Barack Obama, US President:
“I am obviously very concerned about what is happening in Europe. I have expressed those concerns repeatedly to President Sarkozy, Chancellor Merkel, all the key leaders involved. I think they now recognise the urgency of doing something serious and bold. The question is whether they can muster the political will to get it done.”
4. Side view of Obama speaking
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Barack Obama, US President:
“Europe is wealthy enough that there is no reason why they can’t solve this problem. It is not as if we are talking about some impoverished country that doesn’t have any resources and is being buffeted by the world markets and they need to come hat in hand and get help. This is Europe with some of the wealthiest countries on earth, collectively one of the largest markets on earth, if not the largest. And so, if they muster the political will they have the capacity to settle markets down, make sure that they are acting responsibly and governments like Italy are able to finance their debt. And I think that Chancellor Merkel has made some progress with other European leaders in trying to move towards a fiscal compact where everybody is playing by the same rules and nobody is acting irresponsibly. I think that is all for the good, but there is a short term crisis that has to be resolved to make sure that markets have confidence, that Europe stands behind the euro. And we are going to do everything we can to push them in a good direction on this because it has a huge impact on what happens here in the United States. They are our largest trading partner and we’re seeing some positive signs in our economy, but if we see Europe tank that obviously could have a big impact on our ability to generate the jobs that we need here in the United States.”
6. Side view of Obama speaking
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) Barack Obama, US President:
“This administration has systematically imposed the toughest sanctions on Iraq, on Iran, ever. When we came into office the world was divided, Iran was unified and moving aggressively on its own agenda. Today is Iran is isolated and the world is unified in applying the toughest sanctions that Iran’s ever experienced and it is having an impact inside of Iran.”
8. Side view of Obama speaking
9. SOUNDBITE: (English) Barack Obama, US President:
“And if they are pursuing nuclear weapons, then I have said very clearly that is contrary to the national security interests of the United States, it is contrary to the national security interests of our allies, including Israel, and we are going to work with the world community to prevent that.”
10. Pan of Obama leaving
STORYLINE:
US President Barack Obama said on Thursday that Europe’s leaders can solve their debt crisis, as long as they “can muster the political will to get it done”.
Speaking to reporters in the White House briefing room, Obama said Europe’s wealth meant that there’s no reason not to solve the economic problems sweeping the continent.
His comments came as European leaders met on Thursday and warned of dire consequences if an 11th-hour EU summit failed to save the euro from the crush of crippling state debts.
Obama praised Merkel for making “some progress with other European leaders in trying to move towards a fiscal compact where everybody is playing by the same rules and nobody is acting irresponsibly”.
“But there is a short term crisis that has to be resolved to make sure that markets have confidence that Europe stands behind the euro,” he added.
Obama admitted that what happened to the European economy had a “huge impact” in the US.

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