News / Europe

Agreement Reached on Financial Rescue Package for Greece

TEXT SIZE - +

European Union finance ministers are expected to announce the amount of a massive, EU-International Monetary Fund rescue package for Greece, hours after the parties reached agreement on it.

The European Union-IMF rescue package comes with a painful caveat - agreement by Athens to take further austerity measures, notably cutting public salaries, bonuses and pensions and raising taxes.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou outlined the details in a nationally televised address Sunday. He said he would do anything to avoid Greece going bankrupt and he urged Greeks to accept great sacrifices.

At a news conference later, Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said the belt-tightening measures would help his country get back on its feet.

"These measures have a counterpart and the counterpart is the significant financial help through this mechanism that we helped create and which is a step, a big step forward for the European Union," said George Papaconstantinou, Greek Finance Minister. "Through this mechanism and this financial help Greece will be shielded from the international markets and will be able to put its house in order."

In Brussels, finance ministers from the 16 EU nations sharing the euro currency, including Greece, met to give final approval to the rescue package. The final deal is expected to be endorsed by European leaders at a special summit later this month.

As he arrived at Sunday's meeting, EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn gave a thumbs-up to the new Greek spending cuts.

"The Greek government has today announced a very comprehensive and ambitious economic program which I indeed welcome," he said. "I'm confident that the eurogroup, the euro area member states, will today endorse this program and I'm recommending to the eurograoup today to activate the [aid] mechanism."

The aid deal comes after weeks of negotiations. Eurozone member Germany has been particularly reluctant to endorse an agreement without further austerity measures from Athens.

In Greece, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets Saturday to register their unhappiness with the belt tightening. Greek unions have called for a national strike on Wednesday.

The Greek government says it has no other choice but to cut spending, faced with the country's skyrocketing public debt and deficit. Last week, ratings agencies downgraded Greece's ratings to junk status.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid