News / Europe

    Europe Returns Attention to Greece's Debt Woes

    Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos holds a news conference after a European Union summit in Brussels, January 31, 2012.
    Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos holds a news conference after a European Union summit in Brussels, January 31, 2012.

    After adopting a continent-wide plan to control government spending, European leaders again are focusing on the perilous financial state of Greece.

    Greece, despite several weeks of negotiations, has yet to reach an agreement with its private creditors to cut its debt by $130 billion, half the amount the country owes them. European heads of state and the lenders are pressuring Greece to impose more unpopular austerity measures to cut its deficit spending, regardless of who wins upcoming elections in the country.

    After the European Union summit in Brussels ended early Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Greece's financial path cannot continue for long.

    "Greece is special in the sense that there is a private sector involvement here," said Merkel. "We confirmed this yet again because the debt sustainability of Greece is particularly bad."

    Caretaker Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos acknowledged the dire straits his country faces.

    "We are now at a crossroads. We should all be united in support of the Greek government in order to dig our country out of its hole. It is very important, this sacrifice so far made by the Greek people, in order not to have this sacrifice lost," said Papademos.

    Greece is attempting to secure the agreement with 32 large financial institutions on the debt reduction, even as its seeks to win European approval for a new $169-billion bailout, which is its second in two years. Without the new aid package, the Athens government says it will default on repayment of a $19-billion bond in March.

    The EU countries, with the exception of Britain and the Czech Republic, adopted a plan to impose tighter controls on the spending of individual governments, with sanctions against those that fail to comply. The EU summit also approved a $661-billion bailout fund, to take effect in July, to cover funding emergencies of debt-ridden countries in the coming years.

    Merkel said the agreements show the rest of the world that Europe can act in a unified way to solve the two-year governmental debt crisis, economic turmoil that also has forced Ireland and Portugal to seek international bailouts.

    "Now, two months after [the start of talks about the new treaty], we can safely say that we have concluded this negotiating process. It is an important step forwards towards a stability union," said Merkel. "For those that look at Europe from the outside, for those that look at the eurozone from the outside, it's very important that we have shown this degree of commitment."

    You May Like

    Multimedia US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington 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