News / Europe

Europe Bank Leader Sees 'Intensified' Risks

President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet speaking during a press conference in Frankfurt,  September 8, 2011.
President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet speaking during a press conference in Frankfurt, September 8, 2011.

The head of Europe's central bank says threats to the economy in the 17 nations that use the euro have sharply increased, and growth prospects have diminished.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said Thursday that the euro-bloc countries face "particularly high uncertainty and intensified downside risks." He said the bank's staff is now projecting economic growth this year of no more than 1.8 percent, perhaps less, and down from a 2.3 percent prediction in June. The bank also cut its estimates for 2012.

Trichet said, however, that officials are now less worried about inflation. He said the bank will keep its key interest rate at 1.5 percent and not raise it for some time.

His negative assessment about the European economy came as other officials voiced new complaints about the pace of debt-ridden Greece's effort to implement austerity measures to cut its deficit.

Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said that as a "last resort" Athens should be kicked out of the eurozone if it "doesn't want to fulfill its obligations." German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece's financial prospects are "teetering on a knife's blade" and that its government had to reduce its debt before it could receive the next installment of the $154 billion bailout it secured last year.

As Athens works to assure international auditors of its intent to cut spending and impose new taxes, it is also working toward winning approval from the other 16 eurozone nations for a second $153 billion bailout negotiated in July. But Greece's austerity budgeting has proved to be highly unpopular with voters. Greek taxi drivers, hospital doctors and dentists walked off their jobs Thursday in protest.

Debt-plagued Ireland and Portugal have also been forced to secure bailouts from their European neighbors and the International Monetary Fund. Portugal, Western Europe's poorest country, said Thursday its economy stalled in the April-to-June period, which actually was an improvement from the previous two quarters when it contracted.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid