News / Economy

Crises Overshadow EU Finance Ministers Meeting

Italy's FM Tremonti and French counterpart Lagarde listen to Luxembourg's PM and Eurogroup chairman Juncker during a meeting in Brussels, May 16, 2011
Italy's FM Tremonti and French counterpart Lagarde listen to Luxembourg's PM and Eurogroup chairman Juncker during a meeting in Brussels, May 16, 2011
Lisa Bryant

A European Union finance ministers meeting is being overshadowed by the euro zone's ongoing economic problems and sexual assault charges against International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who had been expected to attend the two days of talks in Brussels. 

The financial troubles of Greece, Portugal and other weaker euro-zone economies are expected to dominate the Brussels talks that end Tuesday.  Finance ministers from the 27 European Union states are expected formally approve a $112 billion rescue plan for Portugal and discuss the possibility of more aid to Greece, which received its own bailout last year.

The chief economist for the Brussels-based European Policy Center, Fabian Zuleeg, says the 17-nation euro zone is facing a tough period.

"Portugal is needing help, there are some uncertainties around there," Zuleeg said. "There are questions about the long-term future for Greece and now, of course, we are having developments with the IMF and Strauss-Kahn in particular."

At issue is Saturday's arrest of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on sexual assault charges.  The incident is certain to cast a cloud over the talks.  

But EU spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio told reporters it would not impact their outcome.  He also praised the IMF's new interim head, former American banker John Lipsky.

"He has a very large experience," noted Tardio, "he is globally recognized as a strong economist, he has a very good knowledge of Europe.  So we have no doubt about the continuity also in that respect."

But experts like Zuleeg note Strauss-Khan's absence will be felt on a larger scale.  The former French finance minister worked closely with European countries in planning the recent rescue packages.

"He has been personally involved and I think his involvement has also made it more possible, more acceptable for European leaders to bring the IMF in[to] the process," Zuleeg said.

Last week, the IMF warned the debt crisis could spread to other euro-zone members as well as some non-members in eastern Europe.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8033
JPY
USD
117.19
GBP
USD
0.6372
CAD
USD
1.1634
INR
USD
63.622

Rates may not be current.