News / Economy

Germany Approves Euro Bailout Increase

German Chancellor Angela Merkel walks after voting at the session of the Bundestag lower house of parliament in Berlin, September 29, 2011
German Chancellor Angela Merkel walks after voting at the session of the Bundestag lower house of parliament in Berlin, September 29, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

Europe's efforts to stem its financial crisis cleared a hurdle Thursday as Germany's lower house approved plans to expand a bailout fund for Greece and other shaky eurozone economies. The vote comes as financial inspectors are in Athens to assess the government's progress in implementing austerity measures.

Germany's lower parliament easily passed a measure to expand the European Union's bailout fund, formally known as the European Financial Stability Facility. European leaders agreed to expand the fund in July, but it needs to be ratified by all 17 nations sharing the euro currency.

The German vote was especially crucial since Germany is Europe's biggest economy. Berlin is also expected to contribute the largest share of the bailout fund. Public opposition has been growing against paying for what many Germans believe is the inability of Greece and other debt-strapped economies to manage their finances.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also staked political capital in the vote, since a number of politicians from her center-right coalition have been skeptical about expanding the bailout fund. She pledged support for Greece earlier this week during a meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou - who sent out a larger plea for help in remarks to German business leaders.

"The fall of the Berlin Wall heralded the end of a divided Europe. Now is not the time to rebuild walls in Europe. Europe must keep moving forward toward permanent integration, build solidly on social justice and sustainable growth," said Papandreou.

Germany's upper house is expected to approve the rescue fund measure on Friday. But a number of eurozone countries have yet to ratify it, including Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Malta, the Netherlands and Slovakia.

Analysts and politicians say a stronger rescue fund is only one step in tackling the eurozone's financial crisis. Addressing European Parliament lawmakers on Wednesday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso outlined a series of other steps needed to shore up the eurozone.

"This will require stronger mechanisms for crisis resolution. We need credible firepowers and effective firewalls for the euro. We have to build on the EFSF [the bailout fund] and upcoming European stability mechanisms," said Barroso.

European and International Monetary Fund officials will be examining Greece's compliance with austerity measures needed for it to receive more emergency funds. If Athens does not get the money soon, it risks defaulting on its debt. The belt-tightening has sparked a series of protests and strikes in Greece. Unions have called for a massive general strike next week.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7217
JPY
USD
102.17
GBP
USD
0.5949
CAD
USD
1.1009
INR
USD
60.326

Rates may not be current.