U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday a recession in Europe would affect the pace of the U.S. recovery, and said Washington is being careful not to “scold” Europe or tell European leaders what to do.
However, he said the U.S. financial system has been put on a much more solid footing and can absorb shocks from Europe.
“They can absorb some of the shocks that come from across the Atlantic,” Obama told reporters.
Obama stated that Europe’s leaders “understand the urgent need to act” to solve the eurozone crisis, as a rescue plan for Spain’s banks appeared in the works.
But he also warned Greeks that they would face more hardship if they choose to leave the eurozone after elections take place on June 17.
The Greek hardships are ‘likely to be worse’ in a eurozone exit, he said.
The American president suggested that European leaders should inject capital into weak banks.
President Barack Obama also called on Congress to go back to his 2011 jobs plan and pass it to help deal with large layoffs of construction workers and local public sector employees.
“Those two areas we’ve directly addressed with our jobs plan; the problem is that it requires Congress to take action and we're going to keep pushing them to see if they can move in that direction,” he told reporters.
Tackling another issue, the president hit back at accusations that the White House was somehow involved in leaking classified national security secrets, labeling the allegations “offensive.”
Lawmakers have fumed this week over a series of news reports, some quoting anonymous administration officials, which reveal details of covert U.S. operations
Obama said he has “zero tolerance” for leaks of classified national security information and will conduct a thorough investigation into allegations that such leaks had been done purposefully.
He dismissed speculation that his administration would release such information strategically to boost his chances at re-election in November.
“The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive.
It’s wrong, and people I think need to have a better sense of how I approach this office,” he told reporters.