News / Economy

Euro Under Fire as Debt Crisis Continues

Teachers hold banners and shout slogans during their protest in central Madrid. Secondary school teachers in regions around Spain began on Tuesday a strike against spending cuts they say the government is imposing as the country fights to avoid being drag
Teachers hold banners and shout slogans during their protest in central Madrid. Secondary school teachers in regions around Spain began on Tuesday a strike against spending cuts they say the government is imposing as the country fights to avoid being drag

The debt crisis in some countries that use the euro has caused social unrest and speculation that the euro’s run as a joint currency may be coming to an end.  There is a plan in place to solve the problem, but it is not popular in either creditor or debtor countries, and the outcome is uncertain. 

Europe’s economic troubles have spilled out into the streets in Greece and other countries. Workers are angry because government budget cuts, designed to fight the debt and budget deficit, are reducing services, hurting salaries and pensions, and eliminating jobs.

But France, Germany and other wealthy European nations are reluctant to take on the burden of bailing out euro partners that have been less careful about financial regulation, government spending and tax collection.

“In a way, it’s a game of chicken that’s going on, with the leaders of the creditor countries saying we want Greece to do more, and Greece saying we can’t do any more because we’re being squeezed so much that our populations are rebelling," said Professor Iain Begg at the London School of Economics. "And anyway we must have economic growth, otherwise we can’t continue.”

But it’s not just Greece, there are Spanish protesters, and protesters in Italy, as the Italian parliament voted to adopt an austerity plan.



In Britain, a European Union member that kept its own currency, the impact of the euro crisis on workers has been cushioned, but people are still worried.

“It seems already to have had an effect on our economy, and it seems as if it’s likely to have an even greater effect if it gets worse,” one woman said.

"I think there’s interdependency regardless of whether it’s in or out," expressed one man. "It’s all interconnected regardless of whether Britain is inside the euro or not.”

“You’ve got the current problem - Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy - I mean, it goes on and on and on," another man noted. "And though we’re part of it, and we’ve got the barrier, we’re not in the monetary part of it, it’s going to affect us, as sure as night follows day.

Another woman says she recently lost her job, and blames the financial crisis. “We shouldn’t have got to this point.  Steps should have been taken a lot earlier to keep the banks curtailed and to make sure the over-loaning, or over-lending, wasn’t happening,” she stated.

European finance ministers have agreed on the outlines of a plan to bail out the countries with the most unmanageable debts.  And while success is not assured, Iain Begg thinks speculation about a euro zone breakup is unfounded, at least for now. “It’s certainly a concern, that all of this may lead to the collapse of the euro, but you find it expressed much more by what’s known in the trade as the Anglo-Saxons - the Brits and the Americans - than by continental Europeans," he said. "Who simply don’t believe that it’s a credible option.”

The next decision point for European finance ministers comes in October, when they must decide whether to go ahead with their bailout plan.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7866
JPY
USD
109.25
GBP
USD
0.6139
CAD
USD
1.1120
INR
USD
61.428

Rates may not be current.