News / Europe

EU Strengthens Economic Rescue Efforts

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

Stock markets and the euro currency rebounded on news of an enormous European Union rescue package to combat a growing financial crisis in the region.  The plan, combined with support from the International Monetary Fund, is worth about a $1 trillion.

Global markets and the euro rallied, buoyed by the news of the plan announced by European Union finance ministers in Brussels.  The rescue package includes $75 billion in loans to troubled members available from the European Commission, the E.U. executive arm.

Another $570 billion would come through bilateral loans from members of the 16-nation eurozone.  If necessary, the International Monetary Fund could also kick in as much as half of the total E.U. contribution.

At a news conference in Brussels, European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the agreement sent a clear signal of European support for the decade-old euro currency.

"All in all, with the fiscal efforts by E.U. member states, the financial assistance of the [European] Commission and by the member states and the actions taken to date by the [European Central Bank] proves that we shall defend the euro, whatever it takes," said Rehn.

In Paris, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said she was pleased at news of the surging markets.

Lagarde told Europe-1 radio the new stabilization plan was the result of unprecedented coordination by major financial players, including the European Central Bank, the G-7 and the G-20.  She said it sent a signal the euro would resist.

Markets plummeted last week, reflecting fears that Greece's fiscal crisis could spread to other vulnerable European nations.  The situation was so serious that European leaders called for the new rescue package to be in place by the time stock markets opened Monday.

Analysts have faulted the European Union for not taking swift, bold action to staunch the spreading panic.  Karel Lanno is chief executive for the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

"We have been calling for action, the creation of a stability fund since February," he said.  "Now we are three months later and they have finally put it into motion - meaning a lot of damage has been done in the meantime.  They could have acted much earlier," said Lanno.

At a forum in Brussels, permanent E.U. President Herman van Rumpoy said the rescue package is only a first step.

"Our problem is that inside the eurozone there are huge problems in economic development," he said.    And we have to tackle these divergences [by] having more convergence in economic policy and economic development.  And that is why we have to make more effort in the coming years to tackle those divergences,"  van Rumpoy  said.

But he says the eurozone is financially healthy.

"The eurozone has fundamentals, which are sound, compared to other countries.  Our budget deficit is almost half of what is going on in other important countries in the world economy.  Second, we have a balance of payments that is almost in balance," said van Rumpoy.

Analyst Lanno says what is needed is a more comprehensive strategy to prevent future crises.

"We need to have a holistic approach of the economic governance of the eurozone.  It is not only this thing [the rescue plan] - it requires a whole redesign of how the institutions function, what ito be done at the macro level, the micro level," Lanno said.

Lanno believes it will be several years before the European Union recovers from the crisis and can show the markets it is in control of its finances.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid