News / Europe

    Deal On Greece Aid Appears Imminent

    EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn
    EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn

    Multimedia

    Tensions caused by the Greek debt crisis appear to be easing following assurances Thursday by European officials that an agreement on aid for Greece will be reached in a matter of days.   Global markets have been in turmoil as the debt crisis threatened to spread to other countries. But consensus that the relief package will be larger than originally expected is helping to shore up confidence in the euro, which has fallen precipitously in recent days.

    In a move aimed at reassuring financial markets, European officials announced that Greece is unlikely to default on its loans, following progress on a bailout plan.

    EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said negotiations include demands that Greece to reduce its massive debt.

    "I want to underline that this exercise has been done not only for Greece, but for every euro member state and their citizens to safeguard the financial stability in Europe and globally," said Olli Rehn.

    Prospects of an imminent deal fueled a sharp rebound on the Athens Stock Exchange and helped the 16-nation euro climb out of a one year low against the U.S. dollar.

    Greece must pay 8.5 billion euros in bonds by May 19.

    But worries that a key election in Germany could delay aid for Greece helped stoke market fears.

    Analyst Nicholaos Skourias says worries intensified this week after Standard and Poor's downgraded ratings for bonds issued by Greece, Portugal and Spain.  

    "There is this fear of contagion," said Nicholaos Skourias. "I think that Greece and Portugal are very small countries but the crisis could spread to Spain which is a more important player in Europe."

    Analysts say fears of a larger debt crisis helped to speed up negotiations.  

    But in Greece, many are angry that tougher austerity measures will hurt workers and retired pensioners.

    Yiannis Panagopoulos is head of Greece's largest workers union:

    "The lenders not only pressure, but blackmail and don't accept negotiations," said Yiannis Panagopoulos. "We got the flavor of a very harsh package of measures, measures that are against development, new measures that will lead to recession."

    The U.S. has not been immune to the crisis.  Key stock indexes fell sharply on Wall Street after the credit downgrades.

    On Thursday, Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski used the Greek crisis to stress the need for U.S. financial reform.

    "Some recent news reports suggest that bankers crafted derivatives to hide Greek debt," said Paul Kanjorski. "Congress must respond by creating more transparency in our derivative markets as provided for in the house-passed bill."

    Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund agreed to triple the size of its aid package to Greece.

    Analysts say the move appears to have calmed global worries of a larger crisis, at least for the time being.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora