News / Europe

    Europe Lowers Growth Forecast for 2012

    European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn addresses a news conference on the interim economic forecast at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 10, 2011.
    European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn addresses a news conference on the interim economic forecast at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 10, 2011.
    Lisa Bryant

    Europe got more bad news on Thursday, as the European Union's executive arm sharply downgraded growth forecasts for the region. This has major implications for a continent buffeted by the financial and political crises in Italy and Greece.

    The new figures predict economic growth across the European Union of only 0.6 percent next year - and just 0.5 percent in the 17-nation eurozone. That is substantially less than the 1.8 percent growth predictions earlier this year for the euro currency area.

    European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn delivered a sober assessment of the region's problems at a press conference in Brussels.

    "GDP is now forecast to stagnate around the turn of this year, with some member states, in fact, experiencing a contraction," said Rehn.

    Rehn called on five EU members - Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Malta and Poland - to cut their budgets or risk facing sanctions. He also summed up international worries about the ailing region.

    "Concern about the sovereign debt crisis in several euro-area member states, together with the weakening global economic conditions, have led to a sharp fall in confidence since April this year," said Rehn.

    Rehn is only the latest official sounding a warning. International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde is urging "clarity" from Italy and Greece, which face political as well as economic turmoil. And noting the sluggish growth and high unemployment in the United States, she is warning of a "lost decade" ahead for the world economy.

    "Our sense is that if we do not act boldly and if we do not act together, the economy around the world runs the risk of a downward spiral of uncertainty, financial instability and a potential collapse of global demand," said Lagarde.

    A Reuters report said officials from Germany and France have discussed a fundamental overhaul of the European Union, to create a smaller, more integrated eurozone group compared to the rest of the 27-member EU. Officially, however, both France and Germany say it is essential the eurozone remains intact.

    Additionally, analyst Philippe Moreau Defarges, of the Paris-based French Institute of International Relations, said creating these two European systems would be problematic in practice.

    "It's very difficult because the juridical issue… in English you say 'the devil is in the details' - I would say what is important is in the details. It means that, of course, you can imagine a very ambitious scheme, very ambitious modification on the paper, but when you want to implement that… it's much more difficult," said Defarges.

    What is certain is that the eurozone crisis is likely to dominate the news here for the months to come, with pressure growing for European leaders to come up with a comprehensive and sustainable solution.

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora