News / Europe

Europe Hands 6 Nations a Deficit Reprieve

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso gestures as he addresses a news conference in Brussels, May 29, 2013.European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso gestures as he addresses a news conference in Brussels, May 29, 2013.
x
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso gestures as he addresses a news conference in Brussels, May 29, 2013.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso gestures as he addresses a news conference in Brussels, May 29, 2013.
Europe is giving six of its financially struggling countries, including the major economies in France and Spain, more time to control the deficit spending of their governments.

Austerity - calling for cuts in spending and increased taxes - has been the dominant prescription in the last two years for European countries looking to rein in budget shortfalls. But with unemployment surging and the continent mired in an 18-month recession, the European Union on Wednesday softened its demands.

The EU granted the Netherlands and Portugal an extra year to cut their deficits below the mandated level of 3 percent of their economic output. France, Spain, Poland and Slovenia were given an additional two years to meet the same standard.

Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] said the economic weakness in the 17-nation euro currency union "could evolve into stagnation with negative implications for the global economy."

The Paris-based OECD, which promotes global economic well-being, said eurozone growth will shrink six-tenths of a percent this year, on top of a half-percentage point drop last year. Six months ago, the group predicted a smaller contraction, and a year ago said the eurozone economy would advance in 2013.

The OECD predicted 3.1 percent global growth this year, increasing to 4 percent next year.

But the OECD's secretary general, Angel Gurria, said unemployment across the world remains a major problem.

"The failure of the global economy to recover more strongly has posed a heavy burden on people. Unemployment remains far too high, In some countries it's already at record levels, and still rising in the case of the euro area," said Gurria. "It's still rising, it went through the 12 percent mark and moving up. The jobless, particularly youth and [the] less skilled, risk losing contact with the labor market and dropping out of the labor force all together. Even when activity eventually picks up, they will have been out of the market for so long that it will not be easy for them to hook up again."

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
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.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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