Obama Calls Eurozone Deal ‘an Important First Step’

President Obama praised the Eurozone debt deal this afternoon as “an important first step” and said the plan would definitely impact the U.S. economy. 

“I think they have made significant progress over the last week and the key now is just to make sure that it drives forward in an effective way,” Obama said at an Oval Office meeting with Prime Minister Petr Necas of the Czech Republic. ”It will definitely have an impact on us here in the United States.  If Europe is weak, if Europe is not growing - as our largest trading partner, that is going to have an impact on our businesses and our ability to create jobs here in the United States.

The president did not address the specifics of the deal, which slashes Greece’s debt load to 120 percent of its GDP by 2020 and boosts the region’s defenses against future economic turmoil. 

“We’ve seen that the message that they are going to deal with this in a serious way has calmed markets all around the world,” Obama said. “It will help lay the predicate for long-term economic growth not only in Europe, but all around the world. The key now is to make sure that it is implemented fully and decisively, and I have great confidence in the European leadership to make that happen.

“There is no doubt that there is progress,” he said, “so the key now is to make sure there is strong follow-up, strong execution of the plans that have been put forward.”

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