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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid