News / Europe

    European Leaders Call for Tighter Fiscal Control

    Euro banknotesEuro banknotes
    x
    Euro banknotes
    Euro banknotes
    VOA News
    Key European leaders are calling for much tighter central control of spending by the 17 countries that use the euro in the latest effort to resolve the continent's unrelenting debt crisis.

    Four officials produced the plan Tuesday - European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. They described the ability to "correct unsustainable fiscal policies" of the individual eurozone governments as "essential."

    Barroso said fiscal discipline would be mandatory.

    "In a more integrated economic and monetary union, sound fiscal positions will not be optional," said Barroso. "They will be non-negotiable. We propose to look at further steps that may require changes to the [European Union] treaty. Let me tell you here that fiscal union is about much more than just eurobonds or stability bonds. It also means more coordination in taxation policy and a much stronger European approach to budgetary matters at national and European level."
     
    The seven-page plan appeared aimed at pushing economic powerhouse Germany toward closer, continent-wide fiscal integration, including the eventual sale of jointly issued eurobonds supported by the currency bloc as a whole, rather than individual governments. But Germany has resisted the creation of eurobonds, fearing its borrowing costs would increase and that debt-ridden countries would have less incentive to resolve their financial problems.

    Germany showed no sign of changing its position, with Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Link saying that pooling of debt would lead "toward a dead end."

    The eurozone financial proposals came as the finance ministers of France, Germany, Italy and Spain were set for debt crisis talks Tuesday evening in Paris ahead of other key meetings this week.

    The meeting of the finance chiefs is taking place on the eve of joint talks between French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed at reaching some sort of accord before a crucial European Union summit begins Thursday in Brussels.

    French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told a local radio network the eurozone has begun to move away from the idea of austerity as a means of solving the crisis that threatens the existence of the currency union.

    "I will start with growth: on this aspect, the election of Francois Hollande really changed things in Europe," said Moscovici. "A growth pact has already been adopted, with our propositions, which represents 120  to 130 million euros.  These are the right steps.  There is also a pact that concerns banks: we have to set up  mechanisms for bank recapitalization which would allow them to face the difficulties of the banking system.  And there is integration, which in the end, in the long term, will lead to euro obligations."

    The Paris meeting is taking place as two more eurozone nations, Spain and Cyprus, sought bailouts for their financially troubled banks.  

    Spain is asking for up to $125 billion to rescue banks left holding bad real estate loans, while Cyprus says its banks are vulnerable because of their "large exposure" to the economy in nearby debt-ridden Greece.  Cypriot-held Greek government bonds were written down in value earlier this year.

    In all, five countries have now sought rescue packages, including earlier bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

    In Washington, the White House says President Barack Obama spoke Monday with new Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and congratulated him on his election.  Mr. Obama urged the prime minister to work closely with the European Union and International Monetary Fund in implementing Greece's economic reforms.

    Mr. Samaras says he wants to renegotiate the terms of the two multi-billion-dollar EU and IMF bailouts for Greece, to extend the mandate for a budget surplus by two years to 2016.

    He named a new finance minister for his fledgling government, Yannis Stournaras, an economics professor and head of a Greek think tank, after his first choice to be the finance chief resigned for health reasons.


    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Observer from: Everywhere
    June 26, 2012 3:50 PM
    Greeks need to own their mistakes, they need to recognize they were reckless getting into the EU. Unless they own it they will not be able to see the path forward, and stop thinking someone pushed you into the troubles you dug in for yourselves. The fact is the previous national government messed it up for the youth and vulnerable, it's now time to work toward correcting those mistakes. Such as, raising retirement age to a mandatory 65 by the 2020, lower pension payments to (in order to encourage able people take part time job), implement tax reform and most importantly debt repayment plans. No one forced Greece to spend recklessly, learn from past mistakes and accept responsibilities for flawed Greek national character, cheating the system and tax-evasion.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.