By David Jolly and Melissa Eddy – October 30, 2012
PARIS — Germany’s chancellor and the leaders of five international economic organizations called on government leaders Tuesday to take “decisive action” to help spur growth in the 17 euro zone countries and elsewhere in the global economy.
The chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the officials, during two hours of talks in Berlin, focused on strategies that included economic policy overhauls and investment in education and infrastructure.
“To restore confidence and to improve growth and employment prospects, decisive action has to be taken to ensure fiscal consolidation at an appropriate pace, coupled with structural reforms,” the leaders said in a joint statement.
It was the fifth such meeting, held at the chancellor’s request, of the leaders of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the International Labor Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The meeting came at a crucial time for the euro currency union. Data released Tuesday showed continued weakness in the Spanish economy and in the German labor market, suggesting that the broader euro zone economy was continuing to falter. And on Wednesday, euro zone finance ministers plan to hold a conference call for yet another discussion of whether to extend more time or money to Greece.