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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid