News / Europe

EU Leaders Call for Continent's Economic Consolidation

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (r) and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (l) during a news conference on the second day of the G20 Summit in Cannes, France, November 4, 2011.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (r) and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (l) during a news conference on the second day of the G20 Summit in Cannes, France, November 4, 2011.

Key European Union officials say the continent needs to oversee the spending of individual countries to ensure the survival of the euro currency and resolve the burgeoning debt crisis.

Both European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy called Wednesday for further integration of Europe's economic affairs.

Barroso told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that the continent is "now facing a truly systemic crisis."  He said that without increased continent-wide meshing of economic interests and oversight, "we will not be able to sustain the common currency."

Related video report by Al Pessin:

In Italy Wednesday, economist Mario Monti was sworn in as prime minister.  He unveiled a Cabinet of technocrats to try to impose austerity measures in an effort to trim his government's $2.6 trillion debt and calm international financial markets.

Mr. Monti named himself finance minister and did not include any of the country's fractious politicians in the Cabinet.  The former European Union commissioner said the exclusion of politicians in his government will actually help it.

"I reached the conclusion during the consultations that the absence of  political personalities in the government will help rather than hinder a solid base of support for the government in parliament and in the political parties because it will remove one ground for disagreement," said Monti.

The new caretaker government in debt-ridden Greece easily won a confidence vote Wednesday. The parliamentary vote supports efforts by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos to impose unpopular spending cuts and tax increases, austerity measures demanded by the country's international creditors in exchange for more outside funding for the government.

Tensions surfaced early Wednesday when the country's electricity workers' union briefly cut off power to the health ministry building in Athens.  Union officials said the shutdown was part of their protest of a tax on property owners - a tax the government is trying to collect through household electricity bills.

Mr. Papademos is specifically tasked with getting parliament to approve a new bailout deal with the European Union.  Greek officials warn the country faces bankruptcy without the new funding, an $11 billion installment of last year's bailout.

In Italy, Mr. Monti said he is absolutely convinced that the country can make the sacrifices needed to overcome its debt crisis.  The prime minister-designate also assured Italians he has the backing of political, business and union leaders.  Nonetheless, a headline in Il Giornale, a newspaper owned by outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said, "He Can't Last Long."

Italy is the eurozone's third-largest economy.  Fears that Italy might default on its debt or be forced to ask for a bailout have shaken financial markets around the globe.

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

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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