News / Europe

Europe Prepares for Dressing Down at G8

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a debate after delivering a statement on her government policies ahead of the upcoming G8 and NATO summits Bundestag, in Berlin, May 10, 2012.German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a debate after delivering a statement on her government policies ahead of the upcoming G8 and NATO summits Bundestag, in Berlin, May 10, 2012.
x
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a debate after delivering a statement on her government policies ahead of the upcoming G8 and NATO summits Bundestag, in Berlin, May 10, 2012.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a debate after delivering a statement on her government policies ahead of the upcoming G8 and NATO summits Bundestag, in Berlin, May 10, 2012.
Henry Ridgwell
LONDON - With eyes firmly focused on the eurozone's debt crisis and its threat to global recovery, leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) major industrialized nations are preparing to meet Friday at Camp David, near Washington.  European Union leaders are unlikely to get much sympathy for their present economic predicament.

It is Europe’s G8 members, notably France and Germany, who will face the scrutiny of fellow leaders at Camp David.

With full military honors, Francois Hollande arrived in Berlin under stormy skies Tuesday, just hours after being sworn in as French president and the continent seemingly sinking further into economic crisis.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the G8 meeting was timely.

//www.youtube.com/embed/079VYWizypg" width="420">Together with industrialized nations, she says the G8 must work harder than ever to get rid of the high debt levels, adding the G8 is exactly the right framework. Merkel says this will be the foundation for stable and sustainable growth.

Shrinking economies across southern Europe have prompted calls for a change of focus from austerity to growth.

To add to its economic meltdown, Greece is facing a political crisis.  Elections failed to produce a majority and the country is going back to the polls next month.

G8 leaders outside Europe will have a simple message for the eurozone, says Stephanie Rickard of the London School of Economics. “I think they are going to say, ‘Hey, eurozone leaders, you need to solve this problem.’  I think they are going to say this is not a U.S. issue, this is not a Canadian issue, this is really a European issue and Europe needs to clean house,” she said.

EU leaders have looked to China’s booming economy for help in pulling the eurozone out of its debt mire.  But Beijing will not come to the rescue, says Professor Steve Tsang of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University.

“From their perspective, there is no reason why the hard-working Chinese should put their very hard-earned cash to bail out the very wealthy and in some ways lazy Europeans,” Tsang stated.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia is not attending.  Moscow says he has domestic affairs to deal with. 

“This is potentially a fracture in the organization that is critical not just for this meeting," Rickard noted. "But for the future of the G8 and for the future of global cooperation.”

The one new face at the G8, Francois Hollande, faces a baptism of fire on the world stage.

Enroute to Berlin, the French presidential plane was hit by lightning, forcing it to return to the air base outside Paris, where the president boarded a second aircraft bound for Germany.  Hollande will hope for better omens on his second major foreign trip in just his first week of presidency.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs