News / Europe

EU Reaches Eurozone Bank Supervision Deal

France's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici talks with Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras (R) during a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, December 13, 2012.
France's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici talks with Greece's Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras (R) during a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, December 13, 2012.
VOA News
European Union finance ministers have reached a deal to create a single supervisor for eurozone banks, in a bid to address a key component of the continent's financial struggles.

The agreement reached early Thursday gives the European Central Bank broad powers to oversee banks in the 17 nations that use the euro currency, as well as institutions in other EU nations that opt in to the system.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici praised the agreement, saying it will help boost outside confidence in the eurozone.

"Europe is finding solutions, the Eurozone is finding solutions, and this is a signal to the rest of the world: we can trust Europe, we can trust the Eurozone, it is an area with great potential and in which we can invest, in which we can trust. Yes, this year 2012 ends under good auspices for the Eurozone and I am happy about that."

EU leaders agreed on the principal of a central banking oversight body at a summit in June and promised a plan by the end of the year.  The oversight is due to begin in March and be fully operational in early 2014," said Moscovici.

Failing banks have drastically affected some European economies, spreading the debt crisis to governments that stepped in to save their banks.

The new oversight body will ultimately allow Europe's rescue fund to directly inject money into troubled banks.  It is also the the first step toward a banking union with the ability to close down failing banks.

The so-called single supervisory mechanism must still be approved by the European Parliament.  EU leaders are meeting Thursday and Friday for a summit in Brussels.

Banks with assets of more than $39 billion or equal to more than 20 percent of their country's gross domestic product are subject to the ECB oversight.  Officials said that would include more than 150 banks.

The ECB manages the euro currency and is responsible for shaping and implementing EU monetary policy.

The dual role had raised some concerns about the potential conflict between those roles when it comes to supervising banks.  Countries that do not use the euro - principally Britain - were worried that eurozone countries would unite to overpower them in policy decisions.

The finance ministers reached a compromise to ensure the non-euro countries have a say in the decision-making process.

The ECB said last week that the economic weakness in the eurozone is likely to continue next year, with a gradual recovery in late 2013 into 2014.

The eurozone has struggled to boost its economy in the wake of the three-year governmental debt crisis. Unemployment has risen to 11.7 percent throughout the region, the highest level since the currency bloc was formed in 1999.

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

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs