News / Europe

EU Ready to Shore Up European Currency

European Council President Herman van Rompuy speaks during a final media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Dec 17, 2010 (File Photo)
European Council President Herman van Rompuy speaks during a final media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Dec 17, 2010 (File Photo)
Stefan Bos

European Union President Herman van Rompuy said the bloc is prepared to do more to ensure stability in the Euro Zone, amid concerns over the future stability of the European single currency. Van Rompuy spoke in Hungary, which takes over the rotating six-month E.U. presidency on January 1.

Van Rompuy told a conference organized by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that Europe's economic crisis has underscored the importance of stability in the Euro Zone. He urged all E.U. member states to adhere to strict financial criteria aimed at reducing budget deficits.

"All governments, all governments, must keep up the efforts in budgetary measures and economic reforms," said van Rompuy. "All must work in the continuity to restore credibility. It is the only way to deal with our long-term challenges."

Van Rompuy said European leaders have introduced what he described as the biggest reform of economic and monetary union since the euro was created. They agreed last week to set up a permanent financial safety net beginning in 2013 to handle future crisis in the Euro Zone, which will expand to include Estonia next year.

Van Rompuy said all 27 E.U.-member states are ready to take further steps, but he made clear he is not seeking to help create a European super state.

"We need a strong economic governance," said van Rompuy. "There is no need for a singe European state. Nor for a single political-economic authority. We have to coordinate, we have to converge, we have to cooperate."

The remarks were welcomed in Hungary. The country's recently elected center-right government insists on what it calls "financial sovereignty" for the country. It even broke off talks with the International Monetary Fund on extending multi-billion-dollar loan arrangements, which were agreed to by the previous Socialist-led administration.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi made clear his country views stabilizing the Euro Zone as a key priority for Hungary's E.U. presidency. He criticized calls from Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands and Finland for a freeze on the bloc's spending at a time when post-communist countries, such as Hungary, still heavily rely on E.U. aid.

"In the last couple of days there is an idea that perhaps we should first freeze in the overall amount of expenditures," Martonyi. "This is not the right approach. We shouldn't put the cart before the horses. Let's discuss how we can increase the cohesion in the European Union, how we can reduce disparities, which still exist between various member  states, and which very much impedes our competitiveness."

European money also will be needed for the policy priorities of Hungary's E.U. presidency, including the enlargement of the border-free Schengen zone to Bulgaria and Romania.

Martonyi made clear that Hungary attaches great importance to a May summit in Budapest between the E.U. and its Eastern neighbors. He said among other key issues is creating an E.U. strategy for the inclusion of Roma people, one of Europe's most impoverished communities and a sizable minority in Hungary.

Hungary's E.U. presidency will come with challenges. The country is being criticized internationally for introducing a strict media law that allows a government appointed media council to hand out fines of up to $1 million dollars for broadcasters, and more than $100,000 for websites and newspapers if their news coverage is deemed unbalanced or unmoral.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid