Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the G7 leaders at Castle Elmau, Sunday, as the first day of the G7 summit kicked off. European Council President Donald Tusk along with his wife Malgorzata, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were received by Angela Merkel and her husband Ulrich. The heads of state of all G7 nations - comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US - will be present for the two-day summit. This year's gathering is estimated to cost just over €130 million ($144 million) according to official figures; while the German Taxpayers Federation believes it may cost the German state some €360 million ($400 million). The G7, formerly known as the G8, excluded Russia from the group of industrialised democracies in March 2014, citing its reunification with Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine as the main reasons.
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