News / Europe

EU Strengthens Economic Rescue Efforts

Multimedia

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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More