News / Europe

    EU Leaders to Continue Search for Economic Answers

    European Council President Herman Van Rompuy during a news conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, July 12, 2011
    European Council President Herman Van Rompuy during a news conference at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, July 12, 2011

    European leaders may hold another crisis summit on the struggling eurozone as early as Friday. The euro currency area is experiencing another grim week - and America's own debt problems only add to the uncertainty.

    More bleak news for 17-nation eurozone. This week, Moody's ratings agency cutting Ireland's debt rating to junk status - echoing similar action targeting Portugal last week. It predicts both countries will need a second bailout - like fellow eurozone member Greece.

    Speaking from Spain Tuesday, European Union president Herman Van Rompuy sought to calm jittery markets.

    "I am fully aware of the current tensions in the debt markets. But let me be very clear that there is a very strong commitment at the highest level to do whatever is necessary to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area," said Rompuy. "Leaders have to [rise] above their domestic political agendas and they will."

    But European finance ministers meeting in Brussels earlier this week failed to come up with a clear plan of action. That might be left up to EU leaders, if they hold emergency talks on Friday.

    At issue - how much the private sector should contribute to another Greek bailout and whether to completely overhaul the bloc's bailout fund to make it more flexible.

    Gilles Moec, London-based co-head of European Economics Research for Deutsche Bank, says private sector involvement is mainly a political issue. "The idea - especially in the core [eurozone] countries - is to say the taxpayer should not be the only actor in the system having to pay for the bailout," said Moec.

    Results from so-called stress tests of European banks are due out this week -- and they should show banks' resilience in limiting the spreading crisis - and their ability to contribute to a bailout.

    While unlikely, chances the United States could default on its massive debt is another concern. U.S. central bank chief Ben Bernanke has warned such a scenario could trigger a major world crisis.

    "All these discussions about the debt ceiling in the U.S. are clearly not helping in the sense that it's adding another layer of anxiety in the situation, which is already complicated enough," said Again Deutsche Bank's Gilles Moec.

    A more immediate worry, says Bruegel think tank researcher Benedicta Marzinoto, are fears larger European economies will be pulled into the eurozone debt crisis. Markets nosedived this week over fears about the health of the Italian and Spanish economies.

    "Things have certainly deteriorated, because financial markets are attacking large markets like Italy and Spain. I'm more concerned about the two big countries than about the downgrading of Ireland - which in a sense was inevitable, if you think of a contagion from Greece," said Marzinoto.

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has vowed to swiftly push through a contentious austerity bill. The initial reaction by analysts has been positive. But they say the EU still must come up with a long-term strategy for the eurozone - and there are fears that tough decisions may be pushed back until the fall.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora