News / Europe

Despite Setbacks, EU Leaders Upbeat on Economic Turnaround

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) speaks with French President Francois Hollande (L) during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, March 15, 2013.German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) speaks with French President Francois Hollande (L) during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, March 15, 2013.
x
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) speaks with French President Francois Hollande (L) during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, March 15, 2013.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) speaks with French President Francois Hollande (L) during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, March 15, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
Eurozone officials meeting in Brussels say international lenders struck a deal early Saturday to give Cyprus a bailout of about $13 billion to avoid bankruptcy. 

On Friday, European leaders agreed that tough measures to turn around the European region's economy are working, even amid rising protests against austerity. 

Speaking to reporters in the Belgian capital, EU President Herman Van Rompuy outlined a four-pronged strategy that the 27-member block will implement in the year ahead to turn around its struggling economy. Among other areas, it focuses on financial stability, growth and youth employment.

"On the question of where does this growth come from, the answer was confidence, credit and competitiveness. On top of this, there is a need for a specific employment policy making our growth more labor intensive," said Van Rompuy.

The emphasis on growth, as well as spending cuts, comes amid mounting popular protests against austerity measures in Europe - protests that reached the heart of the EU on Friday as thousands of people demonstrated outside the Brussels building where European leaders wrapped up their summit.

Cultivating growth

In another sign of discontent this week, the European Parliament rejected the EU's budget, calling for more growth measures to be included.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he understood public frustration.

"We are in a painful process of adjustment, of deleveraging, because of excessive public debt accumulated over the years," said Barroso. "Because of excessive private debt -including by the way, some financial bubbles, real estate bubbles, a lot of imbalances in our economy - and also because of some behavior that was quite irresponsible in some areas of the financial sector."

Job creation

To alleviate the pain, Barroso said it is important to mix in short-term social measures - what he describes as "quick wins" - to boost growth. That includes creating jobs, particularly among young people, whose unemployment rate reaches as high as 50 percent in some places.

EU members like France also are calling for more flexibility in budget deficit targets they are likely to miss this year. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended austerity measures, saying that spending cuts and growth worked together and not in contradiction.

The financial problems of the island nation of Cyprus continued to shadow this EU summit, with the plight of Cyprus's banks a major challenge.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid