News / Europe

Disagreements Flare at Euro Summit

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 23, 2011.
British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 23, 2011.
Henry Ridgwell

French President Nicholas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron have clashed at emergency meetings on the euro in Brussels. It comes as Members of Parliament in Britain debate a motion calling for a referendum on leaving the European Union altogether.

In front of the cameras, it was all smiles at Sunday’s summit in Brussels. But tensions still bubbled below the surface.  French newspaper headlines highlighted a rift between their president and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Watch a related report by Mil Arcega

Speaking Monday, French finance minister Francois Baroin insisted the talks were on track.

"I think that if one says two-thirds progress since last Friday, that would be a fair statement,” he said. “We have had an agreement on the disbursement of the final tranche of the previous rescue plan for Greece, and we have agreed on the level of recapitalisation of banks to deal with any shocks," said Baroin.

Modifying bailout fund

So exactly what has been agreed? European banks will be forced to raise 100 billion euros in new capital to shield them from losses.

Lenders also will be asked to write off much more than the 21% of Greek debts agreed back in July.

The biggest hurdle is boosting the firepower of the EU’s bailout fund.

Analysts say the current pot of 440 billion euros is too small to rescue Spain or Italy if they get into trouble.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated his case for a new way of raising revenue.

"We have reminded all of our European partners of our attachment to the introduction of a tax on financial transactions.,” he said. “It is a commitment that we took together and we will stick to it.”

Britain's objections

Britain, which is not part of the euro, opposes such a tax as its economy relies heavily on financial services. The prime minister says members of the single currency should not dictate policy to the whole Union.

"Treaty change can only happen if it is agreed to by all 27 member states of the European Union and any treaty change, as the last treaty change did, is an opportunity to advance our national interest,” said Cameron.

Anglo-French tensions are rising. Sarkozy is quoted as telling the British prime minister that he is ‘"sick of you criticizing us and telling us what to do."

Debating EU exit

Cameron meanwhile is fighting a European battle both abroad and at home.

Rebel MPs from his own Conservative party want to force a national referendum on whether to leave the European Union altogether.

The prime minister said with Europe in turmoil, now is not the time for Britain to be stirring even more trouble.

EU leaders will meet again on Wednesday to finalize the rescue deal. Many hope this will mark the beginning of the end for Europe’s debt crisis.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Activists for Peace Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified boarder, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs