News / Europe

    European Economic Crisis Persists as EU Questions Greek Commitment

    A Greek five-cent euro coin depicting a tanker is seen amongst other coins in Athens, Greece, February 15, 2012.
    A Greek five-cent euro coin depicting a tanker is seen amongst other coins in Athens, Greece, February 15, 2012.
    Al Pessin

    The European economic crisis shows no signs of abating, as several countries face downgrades in their credit ratings and some European leaders see the tough austerity measures adopted by Greece, in the face of huge protests, as being nonetheless inadequate.  

    Thousands of Greeks, many of them prosperous and middle class until recently, crowded into the streets outside the parliament and clashed with police.

    Inside, parliament members adopted a plan to cut additional billions of euros from the country’s budget.

    Greece is in its fifth year of recession, with only more pain in sight. Its European Union partners are insisting on more details of the austerity program, and guarantees the plan will be implemented, before they will approve additional credit. Without more cash, Greece will default on debt payments next month.

    A parliamentary election is scheduled for April, and some Greek politicians are saying enough is enough.

    “After this difficult vote goes through, we would like to see our allies, our European allies show the respect that Greece needs, to show that Europe is here to really help and soothe the pain of the Greeks," said Olga Kefalogianni of the New Democracy Party.

    At the Economist Intelligence Unit in London, analyst Martin Koehring said austerity is needed in Greece, but he acknowledged the cuts have had a severe impact.  

    “The pace of this fiscal austerity is going too fast, even though the European leaders even say it’s not going fast enough. The message is that Greece will be on life-support for the foreseeable future,” said Koehring.

    Koehring and other analysts say the wealthier European countries are ignoring the need for economic growth in Greece and the other troubled economies. They say that without growth, the countries will not be able to recover in the long term, and their people may well reject plans that promise years, or even decades, of suffering.

    EU expert Thomas Fischer of the Bertelsmann Foundation said as much at a recent conference in Brussels.

    “The focus has been on national austerity policies. The focus on growth and jobs is much weaker than the one on fiscal consolidation. That is our basic problem, I suppose, ” said Fischer.

    The fallout of the European debt crisis has reached even to countries that are relatively healthy economically, including Britain. On Monday, credit rating agency Moody’s put a negative watch on Britain, putting its AAA rating in jeopardy. And the agency also simultaneously downgraded several other European countries.

    Martin Keohring was not surprised.

    "Probably Moody’s is right in highlighting that the situation for the U.K. is very dangerous. The general economic outlook is weak because the U.K. is very exposed to the euro zone,” said Keohring.

    While anger in Greece boils over into the streets, European leaders face a dilemma. They need both austerity and growth at the same time, and experts say that is a difficult combination to achieve.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    The Complicated Math of AIDS

    A lot, and then some: the huge - and complicated - cost of the AIDS epidemic

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    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.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora