News / Europe

EU to Publish Bank Stress Tests

European Union leaders have agreed to publicly release the results of tests on the region's banks to reassure markets that Europe is financially stable.

At a summit in Brussels Thursday, the leaders said results of the so-called stress tests on the EU's 25 biggest banks will be made available in the second half of July.  The tests will show whether the banks are capable of coping with potential economic losses.

The announcement follows concerns about Spain's financial health.  The country is struggling with growing debt and unemployment.  EU leaders say they are not planning a rescue package for Spain, like the $145 billion package of emergency loans prepared for heavily indebted Greece in coordination with the International Monetary Fund.

In a related development, European and IMF experts report Greece is undertaking reforms to lower its debt, as required in the terms of the aid package.  Greece had to take austerity measures to secure the bailout, including raising taxes and reforming its pension system.  The country's powerful labor unions, which fiercely oppose the reforms, organized a series of strikes this year to protest against them.

The crisis in Greece raised concerns about the strength of the euro currency, prompting the EU and the IMF recently to endorse a nearly $1 trillion package of loans to help other struggling euro economies.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, Reuters and Bloomberg.

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