News / Europe

G20 Agrees to Boost IMF Resources

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (L) gestures as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) looks on during a news conference on the second day of the G20 Summit in Cannes November 4, 2011.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (L) gestures as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) looks on during a news conference on the second day of the G20 Summit in Cannes November 4, 2011.

The Group of 20 leading economies have agreed to boost the resources of the International Monetary Fund to help curb the European debt crisis.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy said the decision was reached Friday at the G20 summit in the French resort of Cannes. But the shape of the additional aid for the IMF remained uncertain at a time when some of the world's largest economies, such as the U.S. and China, are facing their own economic difficulties.

The world leaders discussed a variety of options, including setting aside a special IMF fund for assisting debt-ridden European governments.

Greece referendum dropped

Efforts to contain the European governmental debt contagion remained at the forefront of the G20 discussions, even after Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday dropped his plan to hold a referendum on the week-old European debt-relief agreement. Under pressure from the U.S. and emerging economies, Italy agreed that the IMF would monitor implementation of its austerity measures aimed at keeping it from needing a bailout.

On the second and final day of their summit, the world leaders also focused on the stabilization of the global economy and efforts to boost domestic consumption in their respective countries.

Rescue package

Thursday's talks were largely overshadowed by Greece's hesitancy to abide by the terms of the financial rescue package agreed to last week by the European Union, under which European banks plan to forgive $140 billion in Greek debt in exchange for the Athens government's agreement to adopt years of austerity measures that are hugely unpopular in Greece.

Late Thursday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy again urged Greece to accept the deal.

"I have admiration for Greece and its people. I have old family ties there, and in no way would I want to give the impression that we are interfering in their domestic affairs," he said. "But on the other hand, this is about the defense of the euro and the defense of Europe - and that's our duty. For us, the red line is very simple. Europe and the euro are our homeland - and that has to be defended."

Earlier this week, Papandreou caused global financial panic by announcing a nation-wide vote on the bailout plan. He backed off his call for the vote after Greek opposition parties finally agreed to back the rescue package.

Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have warned that Greece will not receive "one more cent" of the next $11 billion disbursement of its rescue loan scheduled for December 4 unless it implements the austerity measures.

Without the funds, Greece risks a catastrophic debt default within weeks, putting at risk its membership in the 17-member bloc of nations that use the common European currency.

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

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Countries Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
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.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs