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News Summary: Treasury chief prods EU on austerity

The Associated Press

SEEK GROWTH: U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said European countries should adopt more growth-friendly policies, as he kicked off a series of meetings with the region's top leaders.

US TIES: Lew said the U.S. economy has an immense stake in the health and stability of Europe, its biggest trading partner. The U.S. hopes Europe will relent in its focus on debt reduction, which has been hurting growth through spending cuts and tax increases.

RUMBLINGS: The EU's debt-reduction strategy also has become increasingly controversial within Europe, as many nations experience rising unemployment and falling economic output — which in turn increases their debt load.