News / Europe

    Eurozone Ministers Approve Greek Bailout Deal

    A man walks next to a kiosk selling Greek flags in Athens, February 21, 2012, the same day eurozone finance ministers approved a $172 billion bailout deal to help the debt-laden country avert default.
    A man walks next to a kiosk selling Greek flags in Athens, February 21, 2012, the same day eurozone finance ministers approved a $172 billion bailout deal to help the debt-laden country avert default.

    After talks that lasted through the night, eurozone finance ministers finally struck a $172 billion bailout agreement for Greece early Tuesday. The deal averts a debt default by Athens, but also demands Greeks to shoulder more austerity measures.

    Related video report by Mil Arcega

    After 13 hours of negotiations, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker announced success at a news conference early Tuesday in Brussels.

    "We have reached a far-reaching agreement on Greece's new program and private-sector involvement that will lead to a very significant debt reduction for Greece and pave the way toward an unprecedented new amount of official financing being provided by the EFSF [the EU's bailout fund] to secure Greece's future in the euro area," said Juncker.

    New Greek Austerity Measures
    Greece's government has approved several rounds of austerity measures in hope of securing a new eurozone bailout. Some of the measures still require further legislation in Greece:

    • Pass a budget including spending cuts equal to 1.5% of the gross domestic product, or $4.37 billion.
    • Reduce the minimum wage by 22%; by 32% for those under the age of 25.
    • Reduce the state work force by 15,000 within one year.
    • Hire only one new civil servant for every five who retire.

    The deal gives Greece its long-awaited installment of bailout money, allowing it to make debt repayments due on March 20. More broadly, it averts a larger crisis sweeping through the 17-nation currency zone if Greece leaves it.

    The agreement would see Greece slice its debt to about 120 percent of its gross domestic product by 2020 - compared to 160 percent today. Private investors would take greater losses than anticipated of 53.5 percent of the face value of their bonds. And, Greeks, who have been out protesting months of belt-tightening measures, will face more government spending cuts.
    Still, officials like International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, praise the agreement for turning the Greek economy around in the long haul.

    "The combination of this significant effort plus the ambitious program with a clear focus on competitiveness should really give enough space for Greece to restore its competitiveness to improve its debt sustainability, and to demonstrate that with good and solid and rigorous implementation checked on a regular basis by the various partners associated with the program, it can get back on track," said Lagarde.

    Lagarde says the IMF will discuss the Greek package during the second week of March.

    Eurozone ministers also discussed a new, larger and permanent bailout fund, aimed at strengthening the firewall around countries that get into financial trouble. Juncker says European heads of state would likely take up the issue when they meet in early March.


    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora