News / Europe

Belgium Buys Subsidiary of Troubled Dexia Bank

Chief Executive of Dexia Pierre Marian (L) and Dexia Chairman Jean-Luc Dehaene participate in a media conference at the Dexia bank headquarters in Brussels on Oct.10, 2011
Chief Executive of Dexia Pierre Marian (L) and Dexia Chairman Jean-Luc Dehaene participate in a media conference at the Dexia bank headquarters in Brussels on Oct.10, 2011

Belgium decided Monday to buy a subsidiary of the financially troubled Dexia bank, the first victim of new European worries about the spread of Greece's debt crisis.

The Belgian government said it is paying $5.4 billion to buy the national subsidiary of Dexia. The French, Luxembourg and Belgian governments said they would provide an additional $121 billion in funding guarantees for the bank for up to 10 years.

The Belgian nationalization of Dexia came as members of Qatar's royal family said they would pay $1.4 billion to buy the bank's Luxembourg division. Dexia's board is negotiating with two French banks to resolve further financing difficulties for local authorities in France.

Dexia was hurt by holding too much governmental debt, especially from Greece, but also from Italy and struggling local governments in the United States. Other banks increasingly were reluctant to loan money to Dexia, worried that it would collapse and they would not be repaid. Belgian officials said the infusion of cash and loan guarantees insures that customers' deposits at Dexia are secure.

Meanwhile, Greece said Monday it has concluded talks with international creditors who have been reviewing the country's austerity budget measures. Greece needs their approval as it seeks release of a new round of financing from its $159 billion bailout from last year. Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said he expects the $11 billion segment to be released before the country runs out of cash next month so it can avoid a default on its international obligations.

European leaders have been hard-pressed to stay a step ahead of the spreading debt contagion, which has worried investors across the globe.

On Sunday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin and promised to soon produce a "global, lasting and quick response" to the European debt crisis.

The two leaders declined to give any details of their plans, which Mrs. Merkel says are still a work in progress. But Mr. Sarkozy says they include adding new funding for banks faced with losses. They say the plan will be ready when France hosts a summit of leaders from 20 industrialized and developing economies early next month.

Ireland and Portugal also have needed bailouts, and there are fears Italy and Spain, with Europe's third and fourth largest economies, could be next.

In Slovakia, another of the 17 nations that use the common euro currency, lawmakers are struggling to reach agreement on whether to approve expansion of the eurozone's bailout fund to assist countries that need international aid.

On Monday, Slovakia Prime Minister Iveta Radicova threatened to resign if the measure is not approved in a vote set for Tuesday. Opponents say the country is too poor to guarantee a proposed $10 billion share of the proposed $589 billion fund.

All but Malta and Slovakia have approved the expanded fund.

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

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More