News / Europe

Eurozone Braces for Greek Election

Scene in GreeceScene in Greece
x
Scene in Greece
Scene in Greece
Lisa Bryant
PARIS - Eurozone countries will be anxiously watching the outcome of  second-round of legislative elections Sunday in Greece, which may determine the country's future role in the eurozone.  

Greek voters will be choosing between parties that call for two different ways of dealing with the country's creditors: either largely adhering to the austerity commitments Athens made in return for bailout funds, or to abandon them and negotiate for better terms.

If Greek voters choose the more radical Syriza party, which rejects the austerity measures, experts believe Greece will leave the 17-nation eurozone. However, other economists, such as Simon Tilford of the London Center for European Reform, say Greece is heading for the exit regardless of the election's outcome.  

"I struggle to see how Greece can stay within the eurozone. I think for that to happen, the country would need ongoing support," said Tilford. "I don't just mean loans, but ongoing transfers of money from elsewhere within the eurozone."  

The Greek legislative vote caps a grim week for the currency union, during which Spain and Italy saw their borrowing costs soar, underscoring investor concerns about their economies. Following talks in Rome on Thursday, French and German leaders said they hope Greece will keep the euro as its currency.
 
French President Francois Hollande emphasized this in an interview on Greek television.  

Hollande says that if Greeks give the impression they will not meet their bailout engagements, then some eurozone countries will want Athens to leave the currency union. He called for Greece to remain in the eurozone, but also for a relationship built on trust.

Economist Tilford says European governments have low expectations.  

"Although they know that no Greek government is really going to be able to abide by the terms of the bailout, because the bailout places unrealistic demands on Greece, they hope that by at least having a committed government there, they will be able to buy some time and that the pressure on Spain and Italy will dissipate," said Tilford.

Divisions are also sharpening about how to tackle the eurozone crisis, with France and Italy calling for more growth measures and Germany sticking by its austerity prescriptions. These competing visions will be on the table in Brussels, during a European Union summit later this month.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid