News / Europe

Greece Reaches Agreement with EU, IMF on Aid Package

Greek PM Papandreou says package necessary for Greece to avoid bankruptcy, country must be willing to make major sacrifices

TEXT SIZE - +

The Greek prime minister says his government has reached agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a multi-billion-dollar financial bailout package.

George Papandreou said Sunday the package is necessary for Greece to avoid bankruptcy, and the country must be willing to make major sacrifices.

Details of the package, said to be worth $160 billion, are to be announced later Sunday.

Under the plan, the other 15 EU countries and the IMF will extend loans to Greece.  Germany will be the largest contributor, but it has been reluctant to release funds without Athens taking further austerity measures.

German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said Sunday the German government will closely examine the bailout agreement before deciding on Germany's contribution.  Bruederle said in a statement that he expects Greece to act quickly to enact the reform measures it has agreed to implement.  

The head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, expressed support Sunday for the aid package for Greece.  Barroso said the package will be "decisive" in getting Greece's economy back on track, and will keep the crisis from further threatening the financial health of other EU nations.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters rallied in Athens against the government's plan to make deep budget cuts.  Protesters hit police with sticks and threw fire bombs.  Police fired tear gas to break up the crowds.  

Greece's public sector union has been leading opposition to the government's planned austerity measures.  Union officials express concern the measures will include tax increases and a wage freeze for government workers.  

Mr. Papandreou has said such measures are necessary to ensure the nation's survival.  The government hopes to cut its budget deficit by some $32 billion.

Politicians and investors are worried that economic problems could spread if Greece fails to pay back its debt.  Those concerns grew in the past week when a key credit rating agency, Standard and Poor's, downgraded its credit ratings of Greece, Portugal and Spain.

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

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid