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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
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 US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
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.

AppleAndroid