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G7 summit opens in southern Germany on Sunday

June 07, 2015, 1:44 updated at: June 07, 2015, 6:21 UTC+3 GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN
Economic growth, climate and security policy will be the key items on the G7 agenda
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© Архив AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN /Germany/ , June 7 /TASS/. The G7 summit will open in the Elmau Palace, located to the south of Munich in Bavarian Alps, on Sunday. At the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the gathering in Bavaria will be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Canadian Premier Steven Harper and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, and European Council President Donald Tusk will represent European institutions at the G7 summit. The heads of several international organizations, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, have also been invited to the Elmau Palace.

Representatives of the leaderships of Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, South Africa and Iraq will also meet the G7 leaders.

Economic growth, climate and security policy will be the key items on the agenda.

Environmental protection and preparation of a new draft agreement, which is supposed to replace the Kyoto protocol in future are one of the priority tasks for Chancellor Merkel. She has stressed her determination to take every effort to make the agreement concluded in Paris in December.

Considerable attention will be paid to security policy and ways of settling conflicts. The summit’s participants will discuss the Ukraine crisis, the situation in the Middle East , Iran’s nuclear programme and security in the South Chinese Sea at a working supper on Sunday.

A German government source told TASS that the G7 countries were planning to discuss support for Ukraine. "However, the summit will not suggest any new mechanisms of rendering assistance or holding conferences of donor countries," the source stressed.

Greece’s negotiations with international creditors will also be part of the agenda. The Greek state debt can be raised in the context of discussion of the general trends of development of global economy.

Besides, Germany has submitted questions like free trade and struggle against virus infections for discussion. Angela Merkel has offered her G7 partners to discuss norms and standards which doctors use when prescribing antibiotics to patients. The German government suspects that doctors often do that without any strong reason. Finally, the immunity of a person who takes too many antibiotics weakens.

Angela Merkel wants to discuss the position of women in society as a separate subject. She believes that women have fewer chances to get a good education and distinguish themselves in business.

The chancellor will give a news conference on the G7 summit’s results on Monday.

The G7 summit will open in the Elmau Palace, located to the south of Munich in Bavarian Alps, on Sunday. At the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the gathering in Bavaria will be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Canadian Premier Steven Harper and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, and European Council President Donald Tusk will represent European institutions at the G7 summit. The heads of several international organizations, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, have also been invited to the Elmau Palace.

Russia quitted this informal club in March 2014 when the G8 was reduced to G7 against the background of the Ukraine crisis and Moscow’s worsening relations with the West. Initially, Chancellor Merkel said that the G7 summit had outlived itself. Later, representatives of the Germany government took a different approach. They started calling G7 an association of co unties with "common values", which Russia allegedly does not share.

The question which German politicians have been asking in recent days is whether a summit can be useful without such a vital international player like Russia. The former German chancellor, Helmut Schmidt (1974-1982), has expressed his skepticism.

"I have limited expectations," he said. Schmidt, 96, said he would be satisfied with the summit’s results if its participants would at least avoid "adding fuel to the fire."

Ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (1998-2005) shares this view. "I believe it’s a mistake that the Russian president has not been invited to the summit. When stances differ, it is necessary to discuss these differences. That could have been done at the summit," Schroeder said adding he was convinced that Europe’s future could only be with Russia.

Ralph Stegner, the vice-chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, said that global processes could not be run without Russia. The politician criticized the phrase about "common values." "It’s not a meeting over a cup of coffee," he said. "If the Western countries have a desire to hold meetings only with those who share common values, then they will find it hard to assemble enough people even for the G2 format," Stegner said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier changed their rhetoric slightly shortly before the summit. They stressed that the West needed Russia for resolving global problems and that the G8 could certainly be an excellent floor for fulfilling those tasks. But it is impossible to imagine the expansion of this informal club so far, they said. Steinmeier noted that the return to G8 would have made many things simpler and it would be good if Russia worked in that direction.

About 20,000 policemen have been mobilized in the federal land of Bavaria to guarantee security during the summit. Thirty helicopters will patrol the sky over the Elmau Palace. Selective border control has been introduced.

Thousands of people are expected to protest against the G7 summit in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. They include civilian activists, anti-globalists and the followers of leftist ideologies.

According to official reports, the summit will cost 130 million euros to the German state. Ordinary Germans doubt that the G7 will bring about any tangible results. A public opinion poll carried out by the YouGoy sociological institute, 78% of respondents believe that the G7 will be unable to make any substantial progress in settling the crises in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq. Twenty-eight percent of the Germans suggested cancelling the annual summits altogether given enormous expenses on their organization. The local media are advising the G7 to buy a remote island in the ocean and meet there without anti-globalists and astronomical security spending.

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