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British PM Says Big Economies Making 'Good Progress' in Tackling Crisis


Britain's prime minister says the world's 20 biggest economies are making good progress on tackling the global economic crisis ahead of a summit this week in London.

Gordon Brown said Monday every major economy has taken steps to stimulate growth, including coordinated cuts in interest rates, tax reductions, and spending increases. He was speaking after talks in London with visiting Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Group of 20 leaders will gather in the British capital on Thursday for a one-day summit. A draft communiqué obtained by Reuters says the group will give more money to the International Monetary Fund to lend to poor nations hit by the economic turmoil.

The document says major economies also will refrain from protectionist trade policies and currency devaluations that could hurt recovery prospects of other countries. It does not mention any plans for additional government spending to boost global demand.

The draft communiqué also says Group of 20 leaders will meet again before the end of the year to review progress on their commitments.

British Prime Minister Brown and U.S. President Barack Obama have urged other governments to boost stimulus spending, but some European nations say they have spent enough.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband tried Monday to downplay expectations for the summit, saying it never had a goal of securing a deal on extra public spending. Australian Prime Minister Rudd says details of any new stimulus measures will come only after the summit.

Russia is expected to call for reforms of the global financial system to give developing countries a greater say in international institutions.

Russian officials say President Dmitry Medvedev also will propose creating a new currency system for international finance that does not rely on the dollar.

The G-20 members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

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