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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid