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France beat Argentina 23-21 in Rugby World Cup

Global finance chiefs warn of threats to economic recovery

media The IMF's Dominique Strauss-Kann (right) and Robert Zoellick of the World Bank. Reuters

Rising food prices, unemployment and unrest in the Middle East could still derail the world's fragile economic recovery, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have warned at their annual spring meetings in Washington.

The world's economic technocrats are breathing a sigh of relief after two years of battling stress on the global financial network.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

However, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn says that there is no time for complacency. He warns that emerging economies risk overheating, due to their speedy growth and the impact of rising food and fuel prices. Strauss-Kahn also criticized the United States for its yawning budget deficit.

World Bank president Robert Zoellick says that prevention is better than a cure and that without immediate action, the world is one shock away from a full-blown crisis.

Zoellick is calling for quick action to support Middle East reforms, saying that worsening conditions in the Middle East and North Africa could derail global growth.

One of the main worries of finance chiefs is the global problem of unemployment, which continues unabated. They say that a new model for job growth needs to be put in place in order to see results.

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