News / Economy

EU Finance Ministers Delay Aid Decision

The head of Eurozone finance ministers' group, Jean-Claude Juncker, addresses the media during a news conference in Wroclaw, Poland, September 16, 2011.
The head of Eurozone finance ministers' group, Jean-Claude Juncker, addresses the media during a news conference in Wroclaw, Poland, September 16, 2011.

European officials are delaying a decision to offer more bailout funds to debt-strapped Greece, as they address a spreading financial crisis. The announcement came as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made an unprecedented appearance at a European Union finance ministers' meeting in Poland.

European Union officials say they will decide in October about whether to pay another $11-billion installment of bailout funds to Greece pending a clear plan from Athens about how it will tackle its enormous debt.

At a press conference in Worclaw, Poland, Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the group of 17 eurozone finance ministers, says whether Greece meets its promises is critical.  "The continued full implementation of the adjustment program remains crucial to ensure fiscal sustainability, safeguard financial stability and boost competitiveness of the Greek economy," he said.

The finance meeting comes amid mounting international alarm that Europe's debt crisis -- which began with Greece, Portugal and Ireland -- is spreading. Underscoring Washington's concern, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner joined his European partners at Friday's meeting. The Reuters news agency reports that Geithner urged the Europeans to work in a coordinated manner to tackle the crisis.

Europe was hit with more bad news this week, when Moody's credit agency downgraded the rating of two major French banks that are highly exposed to the Greek debt. In a bid to ease the pressure, five of the world's major central banks agreed Thursday to inject dollars into Europe's struggling banking system.

At the same time, European Economic Commissioner Olli Rehn noted a new EU report showing a significant slowdown in European growth. "In a nutshell, uncertainty and stress in the financial markets is now having negative ramifications in the real economy, and it is hampering our growth prospects," Rehn said.

European finance officials have called on governments to swiftly ratify a deal reached in July to expand the scope of their bailout fund and on a new bailout package for Greece. But governments disagree over the details, and only a handful of nations have ratified the agreement to date.

Thomas Klau, who heads the European Council on Foreign Relations' Paris office, says European officials are right to press Greece's prime minister, George Papandreou, on reforms.

"Any indication from the partners in Europe and across the Atlantic that they would be satisfied with a glass half, three-quarters or even three-fifths full might really be quite fatal in terms of enabling Mr. Papandreou to really change the way the Greek state performs," Klau said.

But Klau joins many analysts in faulting European governments for being slow to address the crisis, which is spreading alarm in the markets. Beyond quick action, Simon Tilford, chief economist for the London-based Center for European Reform, says European governments need to fundamentally change the way they handle the crisis.

"Despite mounting evidence that the current strategy is not working, instead of reassessing the strategy, eurozone policymakers are essentially digging their feet in and just persisting with a strategy that isn't working. And that is very worrisome," Tilford said.

Analysts fear that Europe's financial crisis could erupt into the kind of full-blown international catastrophe witnessed in 2008 -- except this time, it would cross the Atlantic from Europe to the United States.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7718
JPY
USD
107.32
GBP
USD
0.6125
CAD
USD
1.0974
INR
USD
60.919

Rates may not be current.