Obama confident in Europe's economic recovery

US President Barack Obama speaks during a media conference at a G20 summit in Cannes, France on Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Leaders from within troubled Europe and far beyond are working Friday on ways the International Monetary Fund could do more to calm Europe's debt crisis. AP Photo/Michel Spingler

Barack Obama, G20
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a media conference at a G20 summit in Cannes, France on Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Leaders from within troubled Europe and far beyond are working Friday on ways the International Monetary Fund could do more to calm Europe's debt crisis.
AP Photo/Michel Spingler

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Getting Europe's economy going again will be a time-consuming, laborious process, President Obama acknowledged Friday, but he said he's confident European leaders are committed to the task.

"Make no mistake, there is more hard work ahead," Mr. Obama said at a news conference at the G20 summit in Cannes, France. But, he added, "Our European partners have all the elements needed for success."

"Here in Cannes, we've moved the ball forward," he added. Euro zone leaders are charting a sustainable path forward for Greece, he said, planning financial firewall measures to protect Euro zone states, and Italy has asked the International Monetary Fund to monitor its reforms.

Some of the developments of recent days -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's threat to put his nation's bailout deal up for a referendum, and his subsequent retraction of that threat -- "have underscored the importance of implementing the plan fully and as quickly as possible," Mr. Obama said.

"I am confident that Europe has the capacity to meet this challenge," he added.

The entire world will suffer if Europe isn't growing, the president said -- including the United States, which counts Europe as its largest trading partner.

For its part, the most significant thing the U.S. can do for global growth is get its own economy back on track, Mr. Obama said.

The U.S. Labor Department released a positive but disappointing jobs report on Friday, reporting that U.S. unemployment fell to 9 percent in October, down from 9.1 percent in September. The economy overall added 80,000 jobs last month -- a marginal development.

Mr. Obama said today's jobs report should make Republicans in Congress "think twice" before they vote against his economic proposals again. Yesterday, Republicans in the Senate blocked a $60 billion bill to invest in infrastructure -- an element of Mr. Obama's $447 billion jobs agenda.

Mr. Obama today said his jobs agenda is "the only proposal independent economists say would make a dent in unemployment right now."

"There's no excuse for inaction," he added. "That's true globally, and certainly true at home as well."

Mr. Obama said he has "sympathy" for his European counterparts because he understands how politically unpopular it can be to deal with a financial crisis.

In the U.S., he sad, "it did not do wonders for anybody's political standing because people's general attitude is if the financial sector is behaving recklessly... other people shouldn't have to suffer for it."

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