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Doors kept open as tempers flare

business Updated: Nov 10, 2010 20:38 IST

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An all-day G20 planning session grew so intense that officials had to leave the door open to keep the room from overheating, underscoring deep tensions over global economic rebalancing one day before the start of the summit.

Deputies drafting a final statement to be released after the G20 summit concludes on Friday remained far apart on pivotal issues, including currency exchange rates, G20 spokesman Kim Yoon Kyung said on Wednesday. “We had to open the door because the debate was so animated and the room was getting hot,” he said.

G20 leaders had hoped this week’s gathering, the fifth since the financial crisis exploded in 2008, would mark the beginning of a new era of global cooperation. The unity forged in crisis has given way to sometimes-competing national policies that reflect a multi-speed recovery from the recession, prompting critics to question the effectiveness of the G20 grouping itself.

Kim said 40 to 50 deputies were crammed into a small room for a 14-hour session, and voices were raised when they discussed a framework for balanced growth that G20 leaders hope will be a cornerstone of the summit.