News / Europe

Merkel: Europe Must Avoid 'Uncontrolled' Greek Default

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011
German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the 17-nation bloc that uses the euro currency must do everything it can to avoid an "uncontrolled insolvency" by Greece.

The German leader said Tuesday that the effects would be far-reaching if Athens defaults on payments for its international bailout loans. She said the danger is "very big" that with a Greek default, other eurozone countries "would quickly face a domino effect."

While Greece has struggled to implement its plan to trim deficit spending in the face of a growing recession, Italy and Spain are also seeking to cut their debts to avoid the need for bailouts.

Italy said its finance minister, Giulio Tremonti, met last week with Chinese officials about the possibility of China buying Italian government bonds, a move aimed at cutting Rome's rising borrowing costs. On Tuesday, there was limited demand at an auction for nearly $9 billion worth of Italian bonds, and the government was forced to pay a higher interest rate than at a similar sale two months ago.  

Merkel's comments seemed to rebuke her economy minister, Philipp Roesler, who said in a newspaper column Monday that the eurozone could no longer dismiss the possibility of an "orderly default" by Greece. The German chancellor said that everyone "should very carefully weigh their words" to avoid further turmoil in world financial markets worried about a Greek default.

She said that "if the euro fails, Europe fails."

U.S. President Barack Obama, in an interview with Spanish journalists, said the big European countries and the continent's leaders have to better coordinate their fiscal affairs. He said eurozone leaders must take responsibility for the debt crisis.  

The Greek government's austerity efforts have proved unpopular at home, even as European leaders urge Athens to implement them as quickly as possible. Workers in a variety of trades and professions have staged work stoppages in protest, and homeowners are upset that the government announced a new property tax over the weekend, on top of a higher sales tax on restaurants just 10 days earlier.

Prime Minister George Papandreou has been trying to lobby Parliament to approve the new measures. He says that "Together we must silence those who doubt us."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and  Merkel are planning to discuss the debt crisis with Papandreou in a telephone conference on Wednesday.

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

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid