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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid