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G8 weighs entry pass for India

Sea Island, Georgia, June 9 (Reuters): Leaders from the Group of Eight nations are considering inviting China and India into the elite club, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said.

“It doesn’t make much sense for us to talk about the economy of the future without two countries that are protagonists on the world stage,” Berlusconi told reporters after a first morning of talks at the annual G8 summit.

The G8 comprises the US, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia.

Berlusconi said the leaders discussed the strength of the Chinese economy and the fact that it was not constrained by western labour laws.

“But we said that we shouldn’t be afraid of China because it is a huge consumer market and the idea was put forward to call China and India to join the G8, making it the G9 or G10,” Berlusconi said.

He did not say if any decision had been taken.

The G8 took root in 1975 when French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing organised a fireside chat of six nations. Canada and Russia joined later.

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