NEWS

Obama says referendum made world nervous

US President Barack Obama said Prime Minister George Papandreou?s proposal to hold a referendum on the country?s eurozone debt deal made many people nervous and he applauded New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras for public backing last week?s Brussels agreement.

“Put simply, the world faces challenges that put our economic recovery at risk,» said US President Barack Obama, reflecting concerns Europe has failed to get to grips with its sovereign debt debacle.

“With respect to Europe, we came to Cannes to discuss with our European friends how they will move forward and build upon the plan they agreed to last week to resolve this crisis.”

Obama said the threat of a Greek referendum on the EU?s proposed bailout package earlier this week ?got a lot of people nervous? but the plan European leaders presented is ?still the best recipe.?

He applauded Samaras for saying he would support the bailout in Parliament after Papandreou agreed to withdraw his proposal to hold a referendum on whether to accept the package.

Obama gave a vote of confidence to European leaders and warned of the domino effect if the debt crisis wasn’t solved.

“If Europe isn’t growing, it’s harder for us to do what we need to do for the American people: creating jobs, lifting up the middle class and putting our fiscal house in order,» he said.

He added: «There?s no excuse for inaction. That’s true globally. It’s certainly true back home. And Im going to keep pushing it.”

[Kathimerini and agencies]