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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More