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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

Studies point to possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
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 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.

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

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8954
JPY
USD
119.75
GBP
USD
0.6515
CAD
USD
1.2518
INR
USD
61.921

Rates may not be current.