News / Economy

European Leaders Take Partial Step Toward Stabilization

European Leaders Take Partial Step Toward Stabilizationi
|| 0:00:00
X
Al Pessin
October 19, 2012 7:26 PM
European leaders took an important step - though only a partial one - toward stabilizing their economies at a summit Thursday night. VOA's Al Pessin reports from London that they are making difficult changes that could have impact on the continent and the world.

European Leaders Take Partial Step Toward Stabilization

Al Pessin
European leaders took an important step - though only a partial one - toward stabilizing their economies at a summit Thursday night. They are making difficult changes that could have impact on the continent and the world.

European leaders gathered in Brussels from all parts of the region and nearly as many points of view. In the end, they agreed to move toward tighter control of banks in countries that use the euro, what is known as "banking union."

"The urgent element now is setting up a single supervisory mechanism to prevent banking risks and cross-border contagion from emerging, and that's why the European Council called tonight for swift progress," said EU Council president Herman van Rompuy.

But not swift enough for some, who wanted a firm date for implementing the plan early next year.

Calls for 'Fiscal Union'

And some experts say even full banking union would not be enough to stop the downslide in troubled European economies and to prevent such crises in the future. Among them is Guntram Wolff, deputy director of the Bruegel European think tank.
 
"The real discussion we need to have now is about not just the banking union, but also about the fiscal resources that are needed at the euro zone level," said Wolff.
 
That means what is called "fiscal union" - a budget funded by euro countries to prop up troubled banks and governments as needed. And that will take still more time to negotiate.

Critics are vocal

At a recent conference in Brussels, there was plenty of criticism for European leaders for not doing enough, quickly enough, to end the crisis. Critics like Bernadette Segol of the European Trade Union Confederation called for more growth stimulus and more concern for Europeans hit hard by the crisis.

"We have to change course. The measures that have been taken until now are not working and they are very unfair. Inequalities are rising in Europe and that has to change," said Segol.

Sitting next to her at the speakers' table, European Commission President Jose Manual Barroso agreed that economic growth is needed, but he argued against allowing troubled countries to take on more debt to stimulate it.

Europe tied into global economy

"There is nothing more anti-social than high levels of debt. Every euro spent on the interest of debt is a euro that is not going for public health, for education, for help for the most needy - and not only for this generation, for the future," said Barroso.
 
Although the focus at the conference and at the summit was on solving Europe's problems, Mikael Hagstrom of the American Chamber of Commerce in Europe said the effort has implications for the broader world.

"If we can unite Europe and take some of the blockages to the arteries away, then we're also going to be able to be more engaged in a G20 world and be more inclusive to the G20 world," said Hagstrom.
 
But even after years of crisis, there is much more negotiating to do before Europe can effectively address its problems, ease the burden on its people and move to restore its role in the global economy.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rob Swift from: Great Britain
October 22, 2012 3:53 PM
We are now getting reports of Spanish families with no money at all. No food. Malnutrition and Red Cross aid in Seville. Chemist shops shut because the Spanish government has no money to pay them. Begging on the streets in Portugal.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.