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Abbott wraps up G20 largely unscathed

Posted on 01/31/2019 | in 深圳桑拿网 | by

The G20 had barely even begun and Tony Abbott’s critics were accusing him of embarrassing Australia on the world stage.

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The prime minister was already under fire for refusing to put climate change on the G20 agenda and instead doggedly pursuing his growth and jobs plan.

But it was his decision to air domestic grievances before the leaders of the world’s most powerful economies that attracted the fieriest rebuke from his political enemies.

In his G20 welcome Abbott lamented how “massively difficult” it was to get his budget measures through parliament and boasted of repealing the carbon tax and stopping asylum seeker boats.

Given the prime minister called the G20 the world’s most important economic forum, perhaps the argy bargy of Canberra shouldn’t have been aired.

It was particularly jarring when compared to Barack Obama’s soaring oration later in the day.

Labor stuck the knife in, with Bill Shorten describing Abbott’s speech as “weird” and a “bizarre parochial little Australian contribution.”

“World leaders are here to talk about Ebola, security, inclusive growth, global free-trade, climate change and instead we have Tony Abbott bringing his shopping list of domestic whinges,” he said.

A spoof article doing the rounds on social media captured the sentiment with the headline: “Abbott To Address G20 Leaders On Parking Issues In His Warringah Electorate”.

The government’s insistence that climate change wouldn’t be a top G20 priority ended up creating more trouble that it was worth.

The issue overshadowed the summit and left Abbott on the back foot when it became clear world leaders had other other ideas about its importance.

Eventually a paragraph was included into the official G20 communique referencing climate change, but the whole sideshow was an unedifying distraction.

Abbott resolved the “shirt fronting” tension with Vladimir Putin at APEC ahead of the G20 and helped deflect the expectation a showdown was imminent with the Russian leader.

The summit did provide Abbott an unprecedented opportunity to hobnob with world leaders and act the statesman on his own turf.

The photo ops with some of the most recognised people on earth holding koalas also didn’t hurt.

He made time to court several foreign leaders personally and got some diplomatic runs on the board.

Abbott said he didn’t want his G20 to be a talkfest and the summit did produce a growth plan, but time will tell if anything much else came from this two-day spectacle.

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