May 26 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy officially opens the 2011 G8 summit by welcoming world leaders to the seaside resort of Deauville. Penny Tweedie reports.
World leaders gather in the seaside town of Deauville in France for the latest G8 meeting. The so called Group of Eight leading world economies were given a rousing welcome by France's President Sarkozy and a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers - although it was clear who was most popular with onlookers. As France's first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy welcomed some of the spouses - leaders sat down for the first of their meetings. On the agenda: a multi billion dollar aid package for Tunisia and Egypt after Arab Spring uprisings deposed their autocratic leaders. Also whether to back others in the region who want democracy . Europe's financial meltdown will also come under scrutiny - but it won't just be money that's up for discussion according to National Australian Bank's Nick Parson. SOUNDBITE: NIck Parson, from the National Australian Bank group saying: (English) "There's a very long list of concerns for G8 to address and we have to bear in mind it's not just a finance ministers' meeting it's a leaders: meeting and so in that context they will be looking at a wide range of political developments as well as sharing their concerns about the developments o the global economy" Early on in the session U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev agreed that Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization would be hugely significant.. . (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT, BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "I think that Russian accession to the WTO would be good for the Russian economy, would be good for the U.S. economy, would be good for the world economies and we are confidence that we will get this done." President Sarkozy officially opened the summit. But not everyone was as enthusiastic - in Paris anti-G8 protesters staged a demonstration against the world's economic system which they say leaves too many people vulnerable to poverty and deprivation. Penny Tweedie, Reuters.