News / Europe

EU Finance Ministers Fail to Agree on New Debt Measures

European Central Bank governor Jean-Claude Trichet attend a news conference during an informal meeting an informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Wroclaw, Poland, September 17, 2011.
European Central Bank governor Jean-Claude Trichet attend a news conference during an informal meeting an informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Wroclaw, Poland, September 17, 2011.

Anti-austerity protesters put an early end to a two-day European Union finance ministers meeting in Poland that failed to achieve a breakthrough on key measures to tackle Europe's growing financial crisis.

The two-day meeting of European finance ministers concluded earlier than expected Saturday, when police allowed thousands of people protesting economic austerity measures to vent their anger in the Polish city of Wroclaw. Austerity is the catch-word these days in Europe, as the European Union tries to deal with a spiraling financial crisis gripping the 17 nations sharing the euro currency.

In an interview on Britain's Sky News Saturday, British Chancellor George Osborne offered a stark assessment of the challenge.

"I think everyone here understands the severity of the situation," said Osborne. "People know that time is running out. The eurozone needs to know it needs a grip on the situation."

Eurozone ministers postponed until October a decision to give debt-strapped Greece $11 billion more in emergency loans pending clear indications that Athens was holding to their bailout conditions. But France's Finance Minister Francois Baroin told reporters that the Europeans were close to reaching a solution on another sticking point, demands by Finland for collateral in exchange for lending more money to Greece.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner attended part of the talks in Poland, underscoring growing alarm that Europe's problems might threaten America's own shaky economic recovery. But news reports suggest that European officials reacted coolly to Geithner's suggestions for handling their sovereign debt and banking woes.

The financial crisis that began with Greece's skyrocketing debt and deficit has since spread to Portugal and Ireland, which have also received bailout packages. It now threatens to spread even further, touching larger economies like Italy and possibly even France. A number of European banks are also exposed to Greek and other debts.

Many analysts have been highly critical of Europe's handling of the crisis, saying governments are acting too slowly and timidly, and as a result, fanning further alarm in the markets.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
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 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.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


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