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 Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid