News / Europe

EU Leaders Agree on Bank Rescue Fund

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi (L) and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti (R) listen to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels June 29, 2012.
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi (L) and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti (R) listen to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels June 29, 2012.
Lisa Bryant
European leaders threw a critical financial lifeline to struggling Spain and Italy and agreed to a roadmap to restructure the euro currency union at a Brussels summit that continues through Friday.

After marathon overnight talks, the 27 European Union leaders agreed Friday on a series of short and longer term measures to shore up the struggling eurozone. As expected, they signed onto a growth and jobs package worth about $151 billion for the 17-nation area.

At a news conference in Brussels, EU president Herman Van Rompuy said the leaders also agreed that eurozone's permanent rescue fund could be used to help struggling banks, without adding to the sovereign debt of member states.

"Via this procedure, we can recapitalize the banks directly as soon as we have a single European supervisory mechanism, and we can switch from the EFSF to the ESM [permanent rescue fund], so we can break the circle between banks and sovereigns," he said.

Breaking that spiral is critical for Spain and Italy, which have watched their borrowing costs soar in recent weeks.

EU leaders also agreed to set up a supervisory body for eurozone banks by the end of the year and - looking to the long term - to forge a closer economic and monetary union. Van Rompuy said a specific roadmap toward this goal will be presented by the end of October.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso hailed the progress made at the Brussels summit.

"I believe this is, indeed, a very important set of conclusions because it shows substantial commitment to further action," Barroso said. "As you know, before this European Council and this euro area summit,  we mentioned it would be important to have decisions on growth - and we have taken those decisions today - but also on the future of the European economic and monetary union and also the possibility of some short term stabilization measures and indeed we have achieved that."

Speaking briefly to reporters early Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said she was pleased with the outcome.

Merkel said the EU leaders had made good decisions in fighting growth and unemployment and on the future of European bailout funds.

Many analysts doubted that European leaders would make much progress at this summit. Now, many are waiting to see how markets will respond to the decisions they made.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid