During a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Necas, President Obama reacted to today's announcement that the leaders of the European Union countries have come to a compromise over how to deal with Greece's debt crisis. Here's what the president said:
Let me say first at the top, the Prime Minister just came from Brussels, where he was part of the negotiations around the eurozone crisis. I’m glad to see that progress was made in the recent meetings. I think it is an important first step. We’ve seen that, although it’s very complicated, obviously the countries of the eurozone and all of Europe are committed to the European project and are intent on making sure that it continues.
So we’ve seen that the message that they are going to deal with this in a serious way has calmed markets all around the world. It will help lay the predicate for long-term economic growth not only in Europe but around the world. The key now is to make sure that it is implemented fully and decisively, and I have great confidence in the European leadership to make that happen.
As reporters were being ushered out, the president was asked whether he thought the deal would help stave off a double-dip recession. He responded by acknowledging that "there has been progress," but what's needed now is "strong execution:"
I was very pleased to see that the leaders of Europe recognize that it is both in Europe’s interest and the world’s interest that the situation is stabilized. And I think they’ve made significant progress over the last week. And the key now is just to make sure that it drives forward in an effective way.
But it will definitely have an impact on us here in the United States. If Europe is weak, if Europe is not growing, as our largest trading partner, that’s going to have an impact on our businesses and our ability to create jobs here in the United States.