News / Europe

European Leaders Confront New Economic Concerns

Workers and trade union representatives from all over Europe hold a demonstration against austerity near the European Commission and Council headquarters in Brussels, March 14, 2013.Workers and trade union representatives from all over Europe hold a demonstration against austerity near the European Commission and Council headquarters in Brussels, March 14, 2013.
x
Workers and trade union representatives from all over Europe hold a demonstration against austerity near the European Commission and Council headquarters in Brussels, March 14, 2013.
Workers and trade union representatives from all over Europe hold a demonstration against austerity near the European Commission and Council headquarters in Brussels, March 14, 2013.
VOA News
European leaders are gathered in Brussels for another summit, facing new concerns that their austerity policies are adding to the continent's unemployment problem and weakening the chances for an economic recovery.

Thousands of workers gathered outside the summit meeting place Thursday to protest the austerity policies that European governments have embarked on to cut their deficits and long-term debts. The European Union leaders were faced with a new report that the number of people working in the 17-nation euro currency bloc in the final months of 2012 fell to its lowest point in nearly seven years.

One Belgian union activist, Claude Rolin, says austerity measures hurt workers and damage economies.

"Austerity does not work. In short, austerity is socially unfair because it hurts those who are victims of the crisis, it is economically stupid because it does not work," he said. "We have seen it in Greece and everywhere in Europe: austerity is counter-productive. It kicks companies out of business. It puts people in misery. What we want is another policy that is intelligent and creates sustainable growth.''

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who advocates budget restraints, said the heads of state will "discuss growth and employment and how to fight the present economic deterioration in Europe."

EU President Herman Von Rompuy said the leaders "cannot turn a blind eye to the social emergency in some of our countries." The eurozone unemployment rate reached a record 11.9 percent in January, and nearly one of every four youths is out of work.

The European leaders are facing conflicting demands to continue to rein in deficit spending that forced them to bail out Greece, Ireland, Portugal and the Spanish banking system and at the same time advance a stagnant continental economy. In one sign of the discontent over austerity, an anti-austerity party won 25 percent of the vote in last month's Italian elections, leaving its government in turmoil.

The eurozone leaders could ease the borrowing terms for financially troubled countries, but the eurozone's economic leader, Germany, remains opposed to weakening its austerity stance.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid