All eyes on Hamburg for G20 summit

Close allies: Merkel and Macron are likely to support each other

THE annual summit of the G20 leaders is set to take place in Germany this Friday and Saturday amid fears of contentious and divisive confrontations among world leaders.

The group includes the leaders of the world´s 20 largest economies whose total wealth accounts for 80 per cent of the global GDP and control 2/3rds of the population.

Leaders from across the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania as well as guests from Africa will head to Germany.

Angela Merkel will host the event and has announced Germany´s priorities for talks which are likely to be strongly backed by France. These include a push for a more interconnected and globalised world, the importance of free trade, climate change and a plan to ease the refugee crisis by improving the living conditions of people in Africa through private investment.

The agenda is likely to put Merkel and Trump at odds with each other in light of the US´s drastic foreign policy change since the US President took office. Troublesome topics include Trump´s pro-protectionist stance strongly opposed by many G20 members.

Further contentions are likely regarding the presence of Russian Leader President Putin in the wake of allegations of Russian interference in US and EU elections, sanctions related to Russia´s annexing of Crimea and different approaches to Syria.

From choice, Spain is not a permanent member of the G20 but is a permanent guest.

Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto have had a fraught relationship since the US Leader took office regarding his verbal attacks on Mexico and its people, suggestions of building a wall and making Mexico pay and threats of withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The summit will see a host of internationally divisive leaders arrive in Hamburg including President Trump, Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan, India´s nationalist leader Narendra Modi and guest Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte who is vocally supportive of extrajudicial killings.

Police will be on high alert in the city as massive protests are expected to take place before the events starts because of the presence of divisive political figures and the meeting´s association with globalisation. Officers will be trying to avoid a repeat of the protests of the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001 which saw the summit overshadowed by public demonstrations. 

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