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Angela Merkel Answers Obama With a Shrug

'Well, you have a few things on your mind,' he responds
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2012 12:11 PM CDT
Angela Merkel Answers Obama With a Shrug
The leaders have dinner Friday night.   (Guido Bergmann)

(Newser) – President Obama is huddling with other G-8 leaders today at Camp David, with Europe's financial crisis expected to be the main topic of conversation. More precisely: Whether Obama can persuade Germany's Angela Merkel to ease up on her austerity strategy and mix in some stimulus, reports AP. If their greeting last night is any indication, some friction might already be apparent: When Obama asked how her how she has been, Merkel shrugged instead of responding, notes the Wall Street Journal. "Well, you have a few things on your mind," Obama said.

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Bloomberg says the encounter "underscores the tension surrounding the meeting," though not all the wire services were reading that much into it. One of the things she might have had on her mind, however, is a phone call with Greece's president yesterday in which Merkel reportedly pushed to have Greeks vote on whether they wanted to stay in the euro zone, reports the New York Times. Leftist leader Alexis Tsipras later criticized her for overstepping her bounds and treating Greece like a "protectorate." (Read more President Obama stories.)

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