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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora