G8 leaders to advocate new stimulus spending

German Chancellor Angela Merkel cuts a lonely figure in Europe these days. She's one of the only leaders on the continent who still thinks bringing EU members' budgets under control to be the way out of recession and into a period of growth. But with the election of socialist Francois Hollande and leaders like Great Britain's David Cameron and Italy's Mario Monti clamoring for new government spending programs, it appears that the deficit cutting consensus that has dominated european politics for the last two years has shattered and a movement back to business as usual for left wing governments is in the offing. Reuters: Francois Hollande, sworn in this week as French president, has already made waves by challenging Europe's austerity focus and saying he will pull French combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year. Obama, 50, may use their introductory meeting in the Oval Office to encourage the 57-year-old Socialist to rethink his Afghanistan plans that put France on...(Read Full Post)