News

    Major Stock Indexes Fall Over European Concerns

    The map of Europe is featured on the face of a two Euro coin seen in this photo illustration taken in Rome, (December 2011 file photo)
    The map of Europe is featured on the face of a two Euro coin seen in this photo illustration taken in Rome, (December 2011 file photo)

    Stock indexes in Europe and the United States fell sharply Tuesday as investors worried about the contraction of the economy in the 17-nation euro currency bloc and whether Greece can successfully eliminate a large portion of its debt.

    Markets in London, Frankfurt and Paris fell about two percent or more after the European Union confirmed that the eurozone economy slid in the last three months of 2011, while New York exchanges dipped more than one percent.

    The EU report came as Greece neared a Thursday deadline to secure agreements from its major private creditors to eliminate more than half of the money the country owes them, a $142 billion reduction. But there were signs that not all of the lenders would agree to the debt write-off, which could force the Athens government to impose losses on the reluctant creditors.

    Greece is seeking to cut its debt as part of a pact with European leaders to secure a new $172 billion bailout, its second in two years, to avoid a default on its financial obligations later this month.

    The EU's economic commissioner, Olli Rehn, said the eurozone "is currently in a mild recession." The region's economy dipped three-tenths of a percentage point in the October-to-December period and eurozone leaders say the slide is continuing in the early months of 2012. If the first quarter contraction is confirmed in the coming weeks, it would officially be the eurozone's second recession in three years.

    Household spending, exports and imports all fell in the fourth quarter, but Rehn said there are "signs of stabilization." He said he is convinced that Europe's efforts to stem the effects of the continent's two-year governmental debt crisis will boost its economy "in the coming months."

    For 2011 as a whole, the EU said the eurozone economy advanced 1.4 percent, down from 1.9 percent in 2010.

    Numerous European governments have adopted austerity measures in an effort to trim their growing deficits. But higher taxes, and cuts in wages and pensions, have also diminished the eurozone's economic fortunes, with consumers reluctant to spend money on big ticket items.

    Major automakers said January sales in Europe fell, with manufacturers now weighing the possibility of production cutbacks because of the glut of unsold cars. Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne said recently that very few car manufacturers make money in Europe.

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

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora