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Rabu, 08 Juni 2011

Obama: No fears of double-dip recession : AP

After a spate of discouraging economic reports, President Barack Obama insisted Tuesday he's not afraid of the country slipping into a double-dip recession. But at the same time he displayed some impatience that the pace of the recovery has "got to accelerate."
"Obviously, we're experiencing some headwinds," Obama said at a joint news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said it was unclear whether the latest unemployment report, which showed a slowdown in job growth, was a one-month episode of part of a longer trend.
Obama said his administration was taking a range of steps to boost the economy, and that the nation is on a path to long-term economic growth but he acknowledged, "we've still got a lot to do."

The economy is the overarching issue as Obama heads into a re-election campaign, and a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday found that disapproval with how Obama is handling the economy and the deficit has reached a new high.
Mindful of that sentiment, Obama trying to project both confidence and empathy for those still feeling economic pain: "I'm not concerned about a double digit recession. I am concerned that the recovery that we're on is not producing jobs as quickly as I want it to happen."

Merkel's visit is her sixth trip to the United States since Obama took office. Later, Obama was to treat Merkel to a night of high pomp at the White House, awarding her the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a formal dinner. The gestures appear aimed at boosting a relationship that has seemed more cordial than close.
Taking note of the economic turmoil that has roiled both sides of the Atlantic, Obama said: "Recovery from that kind of body blow takes time."
"Our task is to not panic, not overreact," he said.

Obama sought to put to rest any suggestion his relationship with Merkel was in any way strained, praising Merkel's "pragmatic approach to complex issues" and saying that "it's just fun to work together."
Merkel, likewise, depicted a close relationship, although she acknowledged that "sometimes there may be differences of opinion."
Obama and Merkel, for example, have had differences on Libya, after Germany abstained in the U.N. vote that authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and kept its troops out of the NATO-led operation to enforce it.
Obama, without mentioning that, said Germany's deployment of resources in Afghanistan had allowed other NATO allies to increase support for the Libyans, and he stressed that both he and Merkel believe Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi has to step down.

On Afghanistan, where Germany has 5,000 troops stationed mostly in the volatile north, Merkel said the two leaders were committed to stabilizing the country not just militarily, but also in terms of bolstering its civil society, adding that "We will not abandon them."

"We wish to go in together, out together," she said of U.S. and German troops. Both leaders face significant opposition to the war from their people at home.
The U.S. has roughly 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, and Obama renewed his pledge to begin a significant drawdown of U.S. troops this summer. Germany hopes to start a gradual troop withdrawal at the end of the year..

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